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Explore Yosemite El, Capitan Yosemite, and more!

For a few minutes at dusk in the middle of February, Horsetail Fall in Yosemite National Park catches the sunlight in such a way that the whole waterfall glows red, gold, or deep orange, taking on the appearance of lava.

Yosemite's Horsetail Fall flows like lava under a clear sky and favorable lighting. It's a small waterfall that makes big news whenever it glows orange during sunset in mid- to late February. This time of year, the sun is setting at just the right angle and the western sky is just clear enough to create the "firefall" effect. When that happens, the waterfall will glow orange for about 10 minutes.