13 Incredible Photos of Yosemite’s El Capitan ‘Firefall’

Each February, Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall lights up as the setting sun transforms the waterfall into a glowing, orange and red cascade of molten lava. The rare phenomenon, known as “firefall”, lasts just a couple weeks each year, for a few minutes at dusk. It occurs only when there’s enough snow or water to fuel the waterfall, and the sun hits the granite face of El Capitan at just the right angle.

Photographers and nature enthusiasts wait anxiously to catch a glimpse of this magnificent optical illusion. Since the firefall began about ten days ago, people have been posting dozens of incredible images to Instagram.

Here are a handful of our favorites.

Fire falls at Yosemite National Park Photography by @2ndfloorguy #TheTravelPro

A post shared by Mikki Tenazas (@thetravelpro) on Feb 23, 2017 at 9:57pm PST

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Still can't believe this magical phenomenon exists and we were lucky enough to catch it. || Yosemite, California ||

A post shared by Sofi Pechner Photography (@sofiflies) on Feb 24, 2017 at 3:02pm PST

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Firefall 2017- it's that time of year again for the famous #firefall #yosemitenps. This trip almost didn't happen due to the crazy road conditions at Yosemite. There has been so much water that a lot of the roads were closed due to mudslides. Somehow we made it here at the very last minute. I still think the mist I saw last year was better but it wasn't bad this time either. Please scroll down on my feed to see previous years firefall if you like. Had an awesome time with some fun and talented photographers @naminou @jc.liang @sinanuong. Was suppose to meet up with a couple more but got lost in the rush. For those that plan on going to see this, be careful since there has been so much water that some of the roads are falling apart. Had an awesome weekend!!! – A special thank you to my wife for letting me go on these crazy fun trips before I get too old to travel. – – #usaprimeshot #bpmag #pixworld_ #igworldglobal #artsyheaven #heatercentral #ig_color #worldcaptures #ouramazingearth #earthofficial #beautifuldestinations #special_shots #Earthpix #wildernessculture #travelstoke #foxnews #abc7now #ktvu #gottolove_this #yesabc #lppostcards #yosemitenation #globeshotz #Nationalparkgeek @nationalparkgeek #worldprime #yescnn @awesome.earth.pix #awesomeearthpix #yesweather

A post shared by Ray (@rayophotography13) on Feb 12, 2017 at 10:07pm PST

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Happening right now – 'The Horsetail Fall phenomenon appears when the angle of the setting sun sets the waterfall ablaze with reds and oranges, like a fire was falling down the cliffs on the shoulder of El Capitan’ The stunning visual display happens every February when the light hits a waterfall tumbling down El Capitan. #blackleafadventures • • Original by @shank0205 #yosemite #firefall #yosemitefirefall #exploretocreate #stayandwander #instagoodmyphoto #horsetailfalls #nomadlife #wanderlust2016 #elcapitan #vscomountains #justgoshoot #epic_captures #adventurethatislife #chasingwaterfalls #waterfalls #visualwanderlust #optoutside #climbing #undefinedadventure #thegreatoutdoors #getoutside #natureshots #thebest_capture #modernvoyage #blackleafcrew #ourplanetdaily #blackleafcommunity

A post shared by Blackleaf Community (@blackleafdotcom) on Feb 19, 2016 at 1:13pm PST

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