Yosemite Firefall February 2019 1
CNN  — 

For all the world, it looks like dangerous hot lava streaming down the side of a cliff. But no, that’s not volcanic activity in Yosemite National Park in California.

But if you want to travel there and see it in person in 2021, you’ll have to act fast. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a reservations system is in place. You can click here to access online reservations.

Starting February 8, you’ll need to be set up with a reservation to drive into the popular park.

Firefall happens at Horsetail Fall, which flows over the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, according to the National Park Service.

It’s a small waterfall, and it normally flows only during winter. The Park Service said it’s actually easy to miss.

But on some days during mid- to late February, it might glow an enchanting and magical orange when it’s backlit by sunset. The expected viewing dates for 2021 are February 13 to 25.

The Park Service says the dazzling effect happens only on evenings with a clear sky when the waterfall is flowing. Even some haze or a bit of cloudiness can ruin the effect. Mother Nature provides no guarantees.

It’s about a one and a half mile walk each way from the closest parking to the viewpoint near the El Capitan Picnic area.

Top image: Firefall at Yosemite in 2019. Photo credit: magicphoto78/Instagram