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Yosemite’s “Firefall” 2019 was a Natural Phenomenon for the Ages – Here Are the Best Photos

During a two-week span in February, photographers and nature lovers alike flock to Yosemite’s Horsetail Falls to witness one of the planets most beloved natural phenomenons. Aptly named “Firefall,” during the winter month the lighting on the otherwise ordinary waterfalls creates a beautiful illusion that the waterfall is on fire. It’s a sight to behold.

With gaining popularity of the event, park rangers have done their best to control crowds during the natural phenomenon, but with this year’s government shutdown limiting the park service’s control, thousands flocked to the event. And boy did it deliver.

The people who went to saw the Firefall had to trek through deep snow and cold conditions, but if they braved the journey, they were greeted with one of the best Firefalls in recent memory. Here are some of the best photos of the natural phenomenon:

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2/21/19 – Horsetail Falls, Yosemite Valley, CA It took a month of planning, two separate trips to Yosemite over four days, countless miles of trekking through the snow, and I now have the flu, but i couldn’t be happier with the outcome. . For those unfamiliar, the “fire” you’re seeing in this photo is the blowing mist coming off of Horsetail Falls in Yosemite being backlit by the setting sun shining through a very small gap in valley. This natural phenomenon typically happens once every couple of years, but the intense display you’re seeing in this photo, is probably more of a once-in-a-lifetime experience 🙏🏼 . Was a pleasure sharing this epic view with @shirazography @johnnyedgephotography @danieltyee and @jamesmcgrewfineart . Big cheers to all my road trip brothers and sisters @fitzsimonsphotography @chaitravels @skygreene and all the amazing folks i ran into in Yosemite in the 4 days I spent there last week @bersonphotos @misslexy76 @gettyphotography @s1mmonds @jen_grand @joehollandfishing @mtflesh , hope you guys captured some pure gold as well 🙌🏼

A post shared by Dan Dunn 📷 (@dtm_photo) on

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Here’s a #timelapse I did of the #yosemite #firefall last Thursday 02/21/19. It began around 5:24pm and went on for almost 20 minutes! The “Firefall” is such a rare occurrence because there are so many factors that need to be just right in order for it to be seen. “Firefall” is actually Horsetail Fall, and if Horsetail didn’t get enough melted snow that year to flow off the mountain, the natural phenomenon most likely won’t be seen. Also, there can’t be any clouds as the sun sets because if there are, the sun will illuminate the cloud instead of the waterfall and won’t create the lava like effect. Also, this event only happens for about the middle two weeks of February. That just happens to be around the time Yosemite is usually hit with snow storms, so an event like this might not be seen clearly for a few years. If you weren’t able to see the infamous “Firefall” this year, here is a 20 minute video condensed down to a min long timelapse. . . . . #yosemitenationalpark #landscape #timelapsephotography #landscapephotography #exploreeverything #keepitwild #stayandwander #adventureculture #goneexploring #greettheoutdoors #lifeofadventure #wanderfolk #exploretocreate #getoutdoors #earthfocus #awesomeearth #visualwanderlust #neverstopexploring #exploremore

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Throwback to this time last week when we were just getting back to our hotel to defrost after shooting Yosemite's breathtaking firefall. 4 years ago on our first trip to Yosemite we saw a photo of the firefall on the wall of our hotel and since then it has been something we have wanted to witness for ourselves. Imperfect conditions, work commitments, and visa constraints are among the reasons that this year is the first year we have been able to go, but it was so worth the wait! Ample snow over the winter, warm enough temperatures to melt said snow, a completely clear sky, and an exact angle of the sun, are needed in order for Horsetail Falls to appear like lava as it flows down El Capitan for approximately 10 minutes at sunset. The wind blowing snow off the top of El Cap then causes the firery smoke effect. This particular shot was taken by @andymorris771 using a Sony a7R III with a 24-105mm F4 G OSS lens. Bucket list item well and truly ticket off the list! #throwbackthursday #tbt

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