February 16-17, 2013
Wanting to get out and field test some equipment, I went up to Yosemite for the weekend hoping to re-capture and experience the “fire falls” effect @ Horsetail Falls in Yosemite Valley. As described in my post back in February, 2010, this effect only happens once a year (though rumor is it also happens in the fall based on another blog post). The park rangers seem to have caught on to this phenomenon as evidenced by the cordoning off of a lane on both the north and south drives for “Special Event” parking. This is undoubtedly due to the popularity of this event.
Andrew Kee’s blog calulated that the optimal time this year would be from February 12 – 27, with the optimal time being mid-week, February 20-21. Viewing this phenomenon relies on several key factors with water flow and direct sunlight being the most important. During this past weekend, Saturday was the better of the two days, though not as good as back in 2010 when the water flow was more abundant. Water flow this year has been characterized as “below normal”. This however, may change as Yosemite probably got some snow today and perhaps again this saturday. Should the weather remain cold the optimal time could be pushed out several days.