Fire Waterfall at Yosemite


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This park was gazetted as a national park in 1890. It is world famous for its rugged terrain, waterfall and century-old pine trees. It covers 1200 sq km and the “fire” waterfall of El Capitan is one of the most spectacular of all scenery.
The spectacular view of the waterfall is created by the reflection of sunlight hitting the falling water at a specific angle. This rare sight can only be seen at a 2-week period towards the end of Feburary. To photograph this rare event, photographers would often have to wait and endure years of patience in order to capture them. The reason is because its appearance depend on a few natural phenomenons occuring at the same time and luck.
1st, Is the formation of the waterfall – The water is formed by the melting of snow and ice at the top of the mountain. It melts between the month of December and January and by the end of February there might not have much snow left to melt.

2nd, is the specific angle of the sunray hitting the falling water – The sun’s position must be exactly at a particular spot in the sky. This occur only in the month of February and at the short hours of dusk. If it is a day full of clouds or something blocking the sun, you can only take pictures of your own sorry faces on the waterfall. It coincides with the fact that the weather in the National Park at that time of the year is often volatile and unpredictable. It compounds to the difficulty of getting these pictures.

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Originally posted 2011-01-24 15:00:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter



  • Katerina

    Does anyone know when in 2011 will we see fire waterfall?

  • Brando

    The website: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2551514/posts has some more information on this. I searched, because I called BS on this being caused by the sun. In a few of the pictures, you can tell that the sun had already gone down below the horizon, therefore could not possibly have caused this.


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