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3.4
11 votes

Horsetail Fall

Northside Drive, Yosemite Valley, California USA

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“is that a waterfall or lava-fall?”

Horsetail Fall is a small, ephemeral waterfall that flows over the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. For two weeks in February, the setting sun striking the waterfall creates a deep orange glow that resembles Yosemite's historic "Firefall." Horsetail Fall flows over the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. It's a small waterfall that many people don't notice, but it has gained popularity as more and more people have noticed it can glow orange during sunset in mid to late February, in a way reminiscent of the Firefall that occurred historically from Glacier Point. The most popular place to see Horsetail Fall seemingly afire is El Capitan picnic area, west of Yosemite Lodge and east of El Capitan (see map below). The "firefall" effect generally happens during the second half of February. A clear sky is necessary for the waterfall to glow orange. This waterfall descends in two streams side by side, the eastern one being the larger, but both quite small. The eastern one drops 470 m (1,540 ft) and the western one 480 m (1,570 ft), the highest fully airborne waterfall in Yosemite that runs at some point every year. The waters then gather and descend another 150 m (490 ft) on steep slabs, so the total height of these waterfalls is 620 m (2,030 ft) to 630 m (2,070 ft).

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Horsetail Fall

Northside Drive
Yosemite Valley, California
USA

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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