Photos from the National Park Service
It’s that time of year again when the glowing ribbon of Horsetail Fall returns to the east face of El Capitan at Yosemite National Park when the sky is clear and enough snow fell to allow the water to flow. If all goes well, you can see the spectacular 1,570-foot orange or red fiery effect for about 10 minutes around sunset.
Park rangers expect the glow on the waterfall to continue for another week.
Usually permits and reservations are required to see the waterfall, because the park is crowded during this spectacular event. Not so this year because of the weather and road conditions. Stopping, parking, and pedestrians are not allowed along Southside Drive between the El Capitan Crossover and Swinging Bridge because of accumulated snow in the pull-outs and along the shoulders. Icy roads are also a problem. And you can’t stop or park between Camp 4 and El Capitan Crossover, or on El Capitan Crossover.
One lane of Northside Drive is closed to vehicles and bicycles, but it’s available for pedestrian traffic.
The closest parking to see the waterfall is at the Yosemite Falls Parking Area near the Yosemite Valley Lodge and on Northside Drive along El Capitan Straight. Expect to walk at least a mile from your parking spot to the viewpoint.
Warm clothes, boots, and a headlamp or flashlight are essential.
Visit the Horsetail Fall page for more information.