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Want to see Yosemite's famous firefall? Plan to visit in the next few weeks

Jan. 24, 2020
2 min read
Want to see Yosemite's famous firefall? Plan to visit in the next few weeks
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It's always a good time to visit Yosemite, but the next few weeks will be an especially good time to travel to this national park in California.

The reason? Yosemite's annual firefall.

Firefall is an eye-catching optical illusion that, when a few conditions sync up perfectly, make Horsetail Fall appear to be on fire.

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For starters, the angle of the light at sunset has to strike perfectly — and it only happens during the months of February and October. The weather must be very clear, and plenty of water needs to flow over the rocks, which may not happen during a particularly dry winter.

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If this near-perfect alignment happens, the waterfall will be transformed into a river of fire.

It's impossible to guarantee that the firefall phenomenon will happen this year, but Sunset reported that the first week of February looks pretty promising.

Related: The best starter travel credit cards

If you're lucky enough to be in Yosemite if and when the firefall occurs, the El Capitan picnic area is one of your best bets for a good view. Just note you won't be able to park there. Northside Drive is another good choice, though again, you can't park — or even stop — in this area. You may want to drop your car and spend the night at Yosemite Valley Lodge, though it's at least a mile away from the good viewing points.

No matter where you park, be sure to pack comfortable sneakers or hiking boots; a camera and maybe even a chair. And you'll need plenty of patience to withstand those crowds.

Firefall or no firefall, you can never go wrong with a trip to Yosemite, or any one of the stunning national parks around the country. Summer will be here before you know it, and that's prime time for a visit to the park (or parks!) you've had on your to-do list. Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to hotels near national parks you can book with points.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases