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Horsetail Fall at its peak. One of the most epic ones in six years!
Just before the sun positions itself, Horsetail Fall is less than spectacular
Creativity and knowledge breed fun photographs of the Tunnel
Horsetail Fall at its peak. One of the most epic ones in six years!
Yosemite Fire Waterfall Phenomenom
REVISED DATES - February 16-18, 2022
Yosemite's "Fire Fall" is rare occurrence when Horsetail Fall lights up as if the waterfall is on fire. It is a unique rare gift from Mother Nature that only occurs when certain conditions are met:
1 - Enough snowpack to feed Horsetail Fall as it is typically dry.
2 - It has to be warm enough for the snowpack to melt into water.
3 - The sun must be in the exact location to shine on the falls at the exact angle which only occurs once a year for 2 weeks in February.
4 - There cannot be any clouds blocking the sun's rays upon Horsetail Fall.
5 - You have to be at the right angle to catch the reflection and there are only a few spots in the entire valley.
Only if all five of these conditions occur, you will witness an incredible phenomenon from Mother Nature!
In addition to the Fire Fall, we will be guiding you to all the known and lesser known areas throughout the Valley to try and capture the beauty on camera. We will be hosting a Beginners Guide to Photography specifically on the basics of composition, slow-speed photography, night photography, and "water reflections" of scenic icons. This is not just for photographers. Non-photographers who wish to see Yosemite through a photographer's eyes will enjoy our adventures.
Families are welcomed with special Ranger hosted activities for kids under 15.
There is a reason why Yosemite is one of the most photographed places on earth. What makes it extra special is every turn is a view of another iconic monument. It is almost impossible to go anywhere without seeing Half Dome, El Capitan, or one of a half dozen stunning waterfalls. Not to mention rivers, meadows, and wildlife around you.
Our Adventure is about Focusing on the Beauty in our World
Likely to change daily
Feb 16 - Arrivals
1:00pm - Depart lobby at 1pm SHARP!
The phenomenon occurs around 5:27pm until around 5:39pm.* Due to the large amount of traffic in the valley to see the Fire Fall, we need to arrive early to set up. Yosemite does not allow cars to drive to our spot so plan on a 1.9 mile (30 min) easy flat walk to our viewing area.
Once we arrive at one of the only three locations to view it, we will set up and and secure our spot. I will personally guard our spot and you can wander until the show begins.
As you can see from the photos, the difference of before and after are incredible and watching that transition occur will be something you will never forget.
* Times given are by professional photographer Aaron Meyers. Visit his website at www.aaronmphotography.com. Incredible photographs.
6:30pm - Immediately afterwards, Tour Group attendees are invited to an informal meet & greet at the hotel for light appetizers and feel free to bring your own beverages to share. We will explain the weekend itinerary, and offer a beginner's class on how to improve your photography skills and take advantage of your camera's manual settings to get the most out of your camera while photographing Yosemite over the next few days. Afterwards, dinner is on your own and not included.
Horsetail Fall on Fire!
Feb 18 - Morning Hike & Departures
Yosemite is home to numerous world class trails and hikes. Our last day in Yosemite is open for you explore at your leisure. You are more than welcome to join me, partner up with new friends, or just take in the immense beauty by yourself.
Feb 17 - Sunrise Adventure
5:45 am lobby departure to Tunnel view to watch the sunrise light up Yosemite Valley in all of its grandeur.
For those with energy left, we learn how to photograph moving water to look like smooth misty milk at various locations in the Valley. Others can head back to take a nap or review their photos.
1:00 pm depart lobby to secure a spot for the Fire Fall at 5:28 pm until 5:40 pm.
6:30pm We will host another class sharing photos from the previous day and learn about slow speed photography to capture night skies and turning waterfalls into silk.
Yosemite Fire Waterfall Phenomenom
2021 was absolutely amazing. Honestly, the best I have seen in six years.
We are now taking reservations for February 2022 with a fully refundable $100 deposit.
We are limited to 5 rooms so reserve now.
Actual days will later this year once the predictions are determined.
Three packages to suit your preference. Prices listed are last year's and subject to change with Yosemite pricing changes for 2022.
Lodging and Tour Package: $750 per room. (Group price for up to two staying in your room)
The Yosemite Valley Lodge is located in the heart of the Valley walking distance to the Village. Each room has two double beds and the cost covers ALL guests in your room per their policy.
- Two nights lodging with 2 double beds.
- Two day-tours and one midnight-tour
- Informal evening photo sharing and mini photography seminars
Tour only package: $75 per person
For those who prefer to camp or stay at another property but want to attend the above mentioned tours and evening seminars. Includes all tours.
Lodging only: $675 per room (up to 4 p/room) and includes two nights at the Yosemite Valley Lodge walking distance to the Village. This is in the heart of Yosemite valley. 2 double bed standard room.
Frequently Asked Questions
Weather - As mentioned, for this phenomenon to occur, the weather needs to be just right. We will review the weather report to determine the chances of this occurring. IF we feel the weather will not cooperate, this trip will be cancelled per our Cancellation Policy below. With a near record December snowfall in Yosemite, all indications are favorable to an Horsetail Fall running!
Transportation - Transportation is not included. IF, I repeat, IF the roads are clear, we will have a comfortable Mercedes RV Van that accommodates up to 7 passengers. If the roads leading into and within Yosemite are icy, you will need to have your own appropriate transportation. Reliable road conditions will not be known until the week prior. AWD or 4WD could possible be needed.
Cancellation Policy - You may cancel for any reason before February 10th, 2021 for a full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee. After February 10th, there will be no refunds for any reason, including but not limited to sickness, road conditions, etc.
Johnny G Adventures reserves the right to cancel the trip for any reason and a full 100% refund will be available to you.
Payments accepted - We accept US Checks, PayPal, Venmo, American Express, Mastercard, and Visa.
Who is the leader? - Johnny G
Johnny G is the tour and seminar leader. He has been photographing Yosemite for over a decade and has a list of his favorite spots both known and unknown that he is excited to share. But to manage expectations, he is not a Yosemite expert. Additionally, while he is well versed in photography, his seminar is focused on taking the beginner to intermediate level. Experts will probably learn very little, but they are encouraged to share their perspectives and tips. But everyone can certainly be assured of a fun time and an unforgettable experience.
What are the seminars topics? - High level basics of composition, learning to use Manual mode, long exposures, and night sky long exposure photography.
Is this only for photographers? - Absolutely not! Non-photographers are welcome to tag along and experience Yosemite through the eyes of photographers. If you have a recent camera phone, you will be surprised how much better your photos will be after learning some basic composition skills.
Where will we watch the Fire Fall from? There are primarily 3 easy access spots which will be explained when you arrive. We will be close enough so as to not need binoculars, but I suggest to bring them for other views.
Does it get crowded? In recent years it has tripled in crowd size. Yes, it can get crowded which is why we will set up in our spot by 2:30pm and just hang out and relax. A folding chair and thermos of your special beverage is highly suggested. More information will be provided prior to the trip. Starting in 2020, the Rangers did a great job in creating more spaces and limiting auto access which dramatically reduced the crowd size. I know the best spots so we are at an advantage.
What camera equipment is best? For the Fire Fall, a lens of 300mm works best on a sturdy tripod. But decent photos can be taken with a camera phone too. For night photography, I suggest a wide angle lens in the 14mm - 18mm range, but any leans will do. For silky-like waterfall photos, I suggest getting a ND filter, preferably a Variable ND Filter. Please call me so I can better explain and advise via phone.
How good of shape do I have to be in? The Fire Fall walk is easy access. The rest of the tours will range from easy flat to moderate distances up to 2 miles or more. It is best to have a pre-conversation via phone.
Is this going to be a good year? Horsetail Fall is not a big waterfall so it heavily depends on snow pack at the top. Although 2020 was a drought year, last minute snow fall made it incredible. Every year needs clear skies and warm enough to melt the snow into runoff. Keep in mind, it is the weather at 5:25pm that dictates most of the success. The phenomenon will last maybe 12 minutes. There was one year when it was INCREDIBLE, and then the next night it started, stopped, and then started again due to a rogue cloud passing by. This is why we will be there 3 days. The risk is up to you but with three days shooting AND the incredible December snowfall, the odds are in our favor.
Are kids allowed? Anyone is welcome to join us. There will not be daycare so you are responsible for your kids. We do ask if you bring your kids that they behave and not ruin the experience for others by crying, whining, or running out of control with cameras and tripods nearby. We reserve the right to prohibit unruly children with no refund. This is common courtesy for the others. Thank you for understanding.
What if I have more questions? Contact us and we will answer as best we can. 530-208-7800