Yosemite Firefall

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Long-exposure photograph of the Firefall taken from the Ahwahnee Meadow

The Yosemite Firefall was a summer time event that began in 1872 and continued for almost a century, in which burning hot embers were spilled from the top of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park to the valley 3,000 feet below. From a distance it appeared as a glowing waterfall. The owners of the Glacier Point Hotel conducted the firefall. History has it that David Curry, founder of Camp Curry, would stand at the base of the fall, and yell "Let the fire fall," each night as a signal to start pushing the embers over.

The Firefall ended in January 1968 by edict of the National Park Service because the overwhelming number of visitors that it attracted trampled meadows to see it and because it was not a natural event. The NPS wanted to preserve the Valley, returning it to its natural state. The Glacier Point Hotel was destroyed by fire 18 months later and was not rebuilt.

See also[edit]



  • Sargent, Shirley. Pioneers in Petticoats: Yosemite's Early Women, 1856-1900. Los Angeles: Trans-Anglo Books, 1966.
  • Sargent, Shirley. Yosemite & Its Innkeepers: The Story of a Great Park and Its Chief Concessionaires. Yosemite: Flying Spur Press, 1975.

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