Image uploaded to Commons by Kelly.

Yosemite is one of the best places to visit in the whole world, and it’s been fascinating people from all over the world since it was declared a national park in 1890; huge granite cliffs, splashing clear streams, massive sequoia groves and epic waterfalls all contribute to its unique charm. Among these natural wonders, a huge granitic monolith famous among rock climbers hosts one of the lesser known attractions, please welcome the latest entry in the amazing waterfall world: the fire waterfall.

El Capitan, the 910 meters rock formation stands tall on the northern side of Yosemite Valley. Each year, ice gathers on top of El Capitan, then starts to melt into a seasonal waterfall. In the last two weeks of February, orange rays get reflected in the waterfall, making it look just like a river of lava.

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Photo by Diliff.

Nicknamed Horsetail Waterfall, it descends from a bit less than 500 meters on the Eastern side of El Capitan and offers quite a view for a picnic.What’s even funnier about this is that a century ago, in the early 1900s, a man named David Curry wanted to attract more tourists. He figured hey, let’s make an actual fire and pour it down a waterfall – which is what he did. He poured bark from the top of the waterfall and gave quite a show, until this was forbidden in 1968, after officials decided this is not quite the thing to do in a natural park. Go figure.

Photo by Scfry.

But hey, the natural one is much more awesome, even if it lasts for just a couple of weeks. No reason to be discouraged though because February is just around the corner. But plan ahead, because the timing has to be just right, and the waterfall doesn’t run on a tight schedule.