Here's How to Get a Reservation to See Yosemite's 'Firefall' This Month

A natural phenomenon at the national park has become a viral sensation for its photo-worthy "flames."

Is there anything better than the great outdoors? Probably not if you require cell service and Wi-Fi at all times, but on the off chance you don't, there are 63 gorgeous US national parks for you to explore.

Chief among them, settled in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, is Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is home to many eye-catching natural wonders, from its giant, ancient sequoia trees, to the towering granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome.

There's plenty to see and do year-round, but one natural phenomenon can only be seen for a few weeks this month (though sometimes it also occurs in the fall).

Every year at that time, Yosemite's Horsetail Fall creates an illusion so bright that it appears the water teeming down from the cliffs has caught fire. It's a gorgeous sight to behold, and has gained viral fame (and led to more crowding) in recent years for its Instagram-friendliness.

Since 2021, Yosemite reinstated the reservation process for park visits in anticipation of crowds hoping to catch the "firefall" phenomena. This year, reservations are now required for the weekends of February 10-11, 17-19 (including Presidents' Day), and 24-25, and they can be obtained by visiting this link.

As of this writing, advance reservations to Horsetail Fall have not been released yet, and will instead be made available at 8 am PT two days before each reservation date (on February 8 for February 10 reservations, February 15 for February 17 reservations, and so on). In order to book your entry, you'll have to pay a $2 reservation fee, which is non-refundable. Entry fees still apply and will be collected at the entrance station. For more information on ticketing and reservations, you can visit this website

If you want to avoid crowds and reservations to try and witness the "firefall" altogether, you're in the clear if you're visiting Monday through Thursday. If you already have lodging reservations at select locations, including but not limited to The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Valley Lodge, Curry Village, Wawona Campground, Hodgdon Meadows Campground, Camp-4 Campground, and Upper Pines Campground then you won't need an additional reservation.

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Jeremy Porr is a News Writer at Thrillist. Follow Jeremy on Instagram.
Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.