Yosemite’s annual spectacle. You’ll need a pass for Horsetail Fall Firefall.

Horsetail Fall Firefall is a natural phenomenon that occurs during the winter months, typically in February, when this small waterfall is flowing. The magic unfolds when the skies are clear and the setting sun aligns perfectly with the fall, creating a breathtaking spectacle that attracts photographers and nature enthusiasts from around the world.

The event has gained significant popularity in recent years, which means a reservation will be required to enter Yosemite National Park on the weekends of February 10–11, February 17–19 and February 24–25, 2024. Even if you’re not specifically visiting Horsetail Fall, a reservation is required on these dates. If you plan to visit on Mondays through Fridays (excluding the 19th) no reservation is needed.

Don’t miss this spectacular event – get your reservation at:  Yosemite Firefall at Recreation.gov

Want to know what else you can do in Yosemite in winter? Follow Alice Ford through this winter wonderland.

For tips from some of our other creators on visiting Yosemite and planning a trip click here.

Grand Canyon by Raft

Have you ever wanted to raft the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park? Every February 1 the lottery opens to apply for a permit for a non-commercial trip. Keep in mind these are not trips guided by a company. Grab some friends to help you raft the boats, cook the food, and put up your tent. Alexandra Nevada took her first trip through the Grand Canyon in October 2023. “I didn’t know anyone on the trip prior to going, though they have become lifelong friends,” she says.

This section of the Colorado River is highly technical, and at least one member of your group must have the experience and skills required by the National Park Service. “My advice is to have experienced participants with you,” says Nevada. “Rafting, regardless of rapid classes, is a serious sport. Make sure you review your permit and know what you’re getting into. Call a ranger office to clear up any confusion.”

An avid rafter and Colorado resident, Nevada adds: “We all deserve to have a good time and a unique experience. Permits aid in this and help preserve an area, limit use, and keep our natural and human resources safe. Apply for permits, have patience, and don’t be disappointed if you don’t win a permit in a lottery system. You can always try again next year, or hopefully meet someone who has a permit and jump on their trip. Most importantly, all rafters should learn, live, and love Leave No Trace principles and respect our rivers, leaving them to be enjoyed in the future.”

Alexandra Nevada took “the trip of a lifetime” through the Grand Canyon in October 2023. (Photo courtesy of Alexandra Nevada @lexgocamping)

Learn more and enter the lottery for a rafting permit here.

Not ready to do it alone? A number of companies provide trips through the Grand Canyon.

Learn more about commercial trips here.

For tips from our creators on visiting the Grand Canyon and planning a trip click here.

Acadia: Sunrise on Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is a classic spot to watch the sunrise. For part of the year, from October 7th – March 6th, it’s the first place in the continental US to experience sunrise. Acadia is also in the top ten most popular national parks in the US with 3.9 million visitors in 2022. If you’re planning a trip there this year, you’ll need a vehicle reservation for Cadillac Summit Road from Wednesday, May 22 through Sunday, Oct 27, 2024. Thirty percent of the reservations will be available 90 days in advance (beginning February 22); 70% of the reservations will be available at 10am (ET) two days in advance.

For more information, check here. To book a reservation, click here.

Waiting for sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, in Acadia National Park (Photo by Brendan Hall from "Out There: A National Parks Story")

For tips from our creators on visiting Acadia and planning a trip click here.