Every year in mid- February, the waters of Yosemite National Park’s Horsetail Falls glow as if they are on fire. It is phenomenon that occurs during a small window of the year and only at certain hours of the day. This year the viewing will begin Feb. 12 and end Feb. 26..
According to Yosemite, over the past several years, the popularity of viewing the wonder of Horsetail Falls has grown significantly with thousands of visitors arriving to catch a glimpse. Sadly, due to its growth the traffic has become unmanageable and dangerous for motorists and pedestrians alike.
This year, Yosemite is trying a new approach to manage the traffic. It will create an event zone inside Yosemite Valley, from the Yosemite Valley Lodge to El Capitan Crossover.
Visitors will be able to enter the event zone and view the falls by walking from El Capitan Meadow or the Yosemite Falls Parking Area, taking a naturalist-guided tour, or picking up a permit to park inside the event zone.
300vehicles will be permitted to park per day
With in the zone there will be parking for 300 vehicles. 200 free parking reservations per day, will be available online and a printed copy should be brought to the Ansel Adams Gallery for a parking pass, beginning on Saturday Feb. 3 at 9 a.m.. 50 first come, first served permits will be available each day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gallery in Yosemite Village.
Tips for Planning Your Visit
☆ Visitors interested in walking to the event site are encouraged to park in the Yosemite Falls Day Parking Area, park at El Capitan Meadow, or ride the free park shuttle to Shuttle Stop #7 and walk into the event site approximately 1.2 miles one way.
☆ Yosemite Hospitality, Inc., the park’s primary concessionaire, will be offering naturalist-guided tours each day for a fee to the Horsetail Fall Event.
☆ To reduce traffic congestion in the event zone and to ensure easy visitor access to Yosemite Valley, the park will convert Southside Drive to two-way traffic from El Capitan Crossover to Sentinel Bridge. No roadside parking will be permitted while two-way traffic is in place for the safety of both pedestrians and motorists.
☆ On Northside Drive, the left-hand traffic lane in the event zone will remain open as an exit route for YARTS buses, commercial buses, and other vehicles exceeding 25’ in length.
☆ Visitors who plan to get to Yosemite Valley using the Yosemite Area Regional Transit System (YARTS) should make sure that they do not miss the last bus of the day. The closest YARTS stop to the event is located at Yosemite Valley Lodge. YARTS buses will not be picking up visitors in the event zone.