Nature really has some ways of flaunting its beauty in rare times. Fortunately, photographers have captured the one-of-a-kind phenomenon of the Yosemite Firefall which only happens when the conditions are right.
Flowing Lava of Yosemite
Some wonderful things only happen at the right place and at the right time. That could be said of the molten lava flowing from a fall found on the eastern side of El Capitan in the Yosemite National Park, California.
Actually, it is not molten rocks expelled from volcanoes during eruptions. It is instead real water flowing from Horsetail Fall. What makes it appear glowing and burning is the unusual moment when the setting sun illuminates the waterfall at a perfect angle for a few days which only happens in February.
Moreover, water is not always flowing from the seasonal waterfall. Thus, there is no assurance that the flaming fall would happen each year in Horsetail Fall.
This makes the moment extra special for many photographers who travel to the area despite the challenging road conditions. Ray Lee, a photographer who captured the Yosemite Firefall this year, shared on his social media account how the trip almost did not happen because many roads were closed to due mudslides.
The Firefall From the Glacier Point
The “Firefall” actually got its name from a manmade Firefall that once occurred in Yosemite. In 1872, real burning hot embers were spilled from the top of the Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park to the valley 3,000 feet below.
History has it that David Curry, founder of the camp, would yell “Let the fire fall!” as he stood at the fall’s base each night to kick off the start of spilling embers. This tradition which was held by the owners of the Glacier Hotel for over a century for seven nights each year as a splashing ending to Camp Curry for seven nights every year.
Many people would travel to witness the flowing Firefall causing heavy traffic in the campgrounds. During World War II, the National Park Service (NPS) stopped the tradition since it was an unnatural event in the natural area. It returned, however, after a war for two decades.
The ceremony eventually ended permanently in 1968 after NPS once again, and permanently this time, discontinued. The reasons stated was that the manmade event deviated from the natural park’s policy for natural wonders. George Hertzog, NPS’ director at the time, said people could go to Disneyland to witness such spectacle.
After 18 months, the hotel was destroyed by an electrical fire. While the Firefall and the hotel now only live in memories, the Yosemite Firefall is a natural phenomenon that can be witnessed with our very eyes.
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