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Yosemite Horsetail Falls "fire fall".

Yosemite Requires Reservations In February

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK–Yosemite National Park (YNP) has announced that it will require reservations for the last three weekends of February 2023. During that time of year, thousands of visitors visit Horsetail Fall, a waterfall that creates the illusion that the water is on fire. The surge in visitation has led to full parking lots, parking overflowing into traffic lanes, pedestrian-vehicle conflicts causing safety issues, and damage to natural and cultural resources.

Visitors flocking to Yosemite National Park in February to experience The Horsetail Falls fire fall phenomenon.

In order to manage this event, a reservation will be required to drive into Yosemite National Park on the weekends of February 10–12, February 17–19, and February 24–26, 2023. Visitors who first arrive Mondays through Thursdays won’t need a reservation. The $35/car entrance fee is valid for entry for seven days, regardless of the day of arrival.

Reservations will go on sale for that event at Recreation.gov on Jan. 13, 2023, at 8 am PST. Each reservation will be valid for seven days.


Horsetail Falls in Yosemite National Park at Sunset.

If you have a lodging reservation for Yosemite Valley, Wawona, Foresta, or Yosemite West, you don’t need an additional reservation. If you have a campground reservation for Upper Pines, Camp 4, Wawona, or Hodgdon Meadow Campgrounds, you don’t need an additional reservation.

Reservations will be required at Camp 4, Wawona, and Hodgdon Meadow Campgrounds from February 1 through February 28 (these campgrounds normally operate on a first-come, first-served basis in February). Reservations will be released on December 15 at 7 am at Recreation.gov.

As previously announced, YNP will not implement a reservation system for the summer of 2023. However, they are initiating a public comment period for a Visitor Access Management Plan. The park will seek input on how visitors can plan future visits to one of the most popular sites in the National Park System. Visit www.nps.gov/maps/stories/yosemite-national-park.html for more information.

Safety Tips

For everyone planning trips to Yosemite National Park to experience Horsetail Fall, please follow these safety tips to help you experience Horsetail Fall in a fun and safe way:

  • Arrive early: do not wait until 4:00 pm to park and walk out to the Horsetail Fall event viewing area. The walk from most parking areas to the event area is approximately 2 miles one way, on a flat, paved surface.
  • Take your time and wear walking footwear: For your safety, walk in the designated pedestrian lane (on the right-hand side of the road). There could be snowy or icy spots, so watch where you walk.
  • Watch the weather and pack layers: as the sun sets temperatures in Yosemite Valley significantly drop. Be prepared for cold weather conditions as the evening progresses.
  • Pack a flashlight or headlamp: After sunset, the walk back to your vehicle will be very dark. Be prepared with adequate light for your safety.
  • Be prepared for a temporary road closure: Should conditions require it for pedestrian safety, a temporary road closure may go into effect in the Horsetail Fall event zone from about 5 pm to 6 pm.
Please plan your visit to Yosemite National Park accordingly. There is no alternate route to exit Yosemite Valley during that time. The safety of park visitors and park employees is our number one priority.

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