• Rainbow over Half Dome


    National Park California

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • No telephone service along Tioga Road

    There is no telephone service available along the Tioga Road from White Wolf to Tioga Pass (including Tuolumne Meadows) until further notice due to a damaged phone line. This affects all telephones, including hotels, campgrounds, and payphones.

Horsetail Fall

February 22, 2013 Posted by: BW - Volunteer Interpreter

Photographers flock to Yosemite year round, but there is a special reason they were here this week. There is a small, ephemeral water fall that puts on quite a show in mid- to late-February. Horsetail Fall, on the east shoulder of El Capitan, is a great example of the amazing natural phenomena that exist in Yosemite. A perfect combination of water, rock, and light, the fall glows bright orange at sunset when the conditions are right. Those conditions occur for only a small window when the angle of the sun is right, there is enough water in the fall, and we have clear skies at sunset. Some years the phenomenon only happens on one or two days! Unfortunately, climate change is likely to make this special sight even rarer. Warmer temperatures will reduce the amount of snow that is collected in the very small watershed that feeds Horsetail Fall. This means less water to light up the hearts and camera lenses of viewers here in Yosemite Valley.

 Horsetail Fall glows as the sun sets on a clear evening at the end of February.
Horsetail Fall glows on a clear evening as the sun sets towards the end of February.

Yosemite Valley, BW

Post A Comment

Submit Comment

Did You Know?

Wawona Covered Bridge

Built to connect human developments on both sides of the South Fork Merced River, the Wawona Covered Bridge is one of few covered bridges in the region. Built in 1868 by Yosemite’s first guardian, Galen Clark, the Wawona Covered Bridge boasts state significance within transportation, entertainment, and recreation contexts.