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Witness the spectacular, fiery phenomenon that lights up the Yosemite valley

Witness the spectacular, fiery phenomenon that lights up the Yosemite valley

Witness the spectacular, fiery phenomenon that lights up the Yosemite valley

Every year, thousands of people gather to witness a glowing phenomenon on the cliffs of Yosemite National Park. The ‘Yosemite Firefall’ occurs from mid to late February right as the sun sets over the Horsetail Falls on the edge of the iconic El Capitan.

For just a few minutes, the glow of the setting sun lights up the waterfalls, transforming the water into radiant oranges and reds, making it appear as if fire is flowing down the cliff.

The conditions must be perfect to create this visual spectacle. Clear skies offer the best opportunity to see the dazzling colours and enough snow from above the falls must have melted for water to cascade down.

The event has become hugely popular among photographers. In the early 1970s, National Geographic photographer Galen Rowell was one of the first to document the unusual sight. Now, photographers from around the world venture out to the Yosemite valley for their chance to capture the stunning firefall themselves.

“I travel around the world to capture these amazing sunrises and sunsets, but there is nothing remotely close to watching this phenomenon, which seems straight out of an Indiana Jones movie,” photographer Sangeeta Dey told National Geographic.

See below for some of our favourite shots.

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