Frequently Asked Questions About Horsetail Fall

Why is Yosemite National Park hosting a pilot Horsetail Fall event?

In recent years, this annual natural phenomenon has attracted thousands of visitors from around the world to photograph and view the Horsetail Fall event. In 2015 and 2016, this event attracted over 1,000 automobiles to Northside Drive. This resulted in increased traffic congestion, negative resource impacts, unfavorable visitor experiences, and public safety concerns in western Yosemite Valley.

When is the Horsetail Fall event scheduled to take place?

From February 12 to February 26, 2018, Yosemite National Park is launching a pilot program to provide for a positive visitor experience to view Horsetail Fall while working to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety for pedestrians and motorists.

How will this impact my visit to Yosemite?

Yosemite National Park will convert Southside drive to two-way traffic from El Capitan Crossover to Sentinel Bridge, allowing no roadside parking to ensure visitor safety in this area. Northside Drive will be closed except to permitholders.

Where will the event be taking place?

The event zone will be on Northside Drive from Yosemite Valley Lodge to El Capitan Crossover. To drive and park in the event zone, a free parking permit will be required.

Are reservations required?

Reservations are not required, but strongly recommended, with 250 permits available each day for reservation. Reservations can be booked online. Permits will be available for pick up at The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Village from 9 am to 3 pm. Fifty permits will be available each day of the event on a first-come, first-served basis at The Ansel Adams Gallery. These permits will be available beginning at 9 am each day, and available until they are gone.

I made a reservation online. Do I need to pick up a separate permit?

Yes, you must bring your printed reservation to The Ansel Adams Gallery to pick up your parking permit on the day of your reservation.

What time must I pick up my permit by?

You must pick up your permit by 3 pm or it will be canceled and made available to someone else.

Are guided tours available?

Yosemite Hospitality will offer naturalist-guided tours each day of the Horsetail Fall event.

Will there be parking for vehicles with accessibility placards?

There will be accessible parking available inside the event zone. Vehicles with placards will not be required to make a reservation and will be able to drive into the event zone and park at El Capitan picnic area.

I didn’t get a parking permit. Can I still experience Horsetail Fall?

Yes! You can park at, or take a free shuttle, to the Yosemite Falls parking area (just west of Yosemite Valley Lodge). From there, it’s about a one-mile walk to the viewing area. Limited parking is also available near El Capitan.

During this event, how can motorists exit Yosemite Valley?

Follow the signs to exit on Southside Drive, which will be set up for two-way traffic. The left lane of Northside Drive will be open through the event area for vehicles exceeding 25 feet. No stopping is allowed on the two-way section of Southside Drive or through the event area (unless the vehicle has a parking permit).

I’m visiting Yosemite using YARTS. Will I be able to view Horsetail Fall?

If you plan to get to Yosemite Valley using the Yosemite Area Regional Transit System (YARTS), review the YARTS schedule to make sure that you do not miss the last bus of the day. The closest YARTS stop to the event is located at Yosemite Valley Lodge. YARTS buses will not be picking up visitors in the event zone. The event takes place around 5:30 pm each day.

Last updated: February 1, 2018

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Yosemite National Park, CA 95389


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