Photo: Andy Shih/Shutterstock

Watch: An Incredibly Rare Rainbow Waterfall Lit Up Yosemite Falls for 8 Minutes

National Parks
by Nickolaus Hines Jun 7, 2022

Yosemite is full of beauty, but few things can match a rainbow waterfall. In a video shot a couple of years back and recently resurfaced on Twitter, you can see the rare phenomenon in slow motion.

The video was originally shot by photographer Greg Harlow in Yosemite National Park.

“This phenomenon lasted over 8 minutes,” Harlow explained in an Instagram post in 2019. “This is how the 1400’ Yosemite Falls rainbow looked from Glacier Point in real time. This certainly was not a planned event. I spent over 3 months total in Yosemite last year and just got lucky. For those asking…this happened November 1st, at 9:15 AM.”

It took two unusual circumstances for this to happen, according to Harlow’s video caption. One is that there were high winds in the area at just the right time of day, and the other was unusually heavy water flow for November.

According to SF Gate, Harlow was there to shoot the fall at sunrise when he saw it turn red and then the full spectrum of the rainbow. Only about 10 other people saw it happen. No doubt Harlow has seen plenty of incredible things in nature in his line of work, but he called this one “the most jaw dropping moment of my career so far.”

If you’re looking for a Yosemite waterfall phenomenon that’s a little more regular, there’s always the February “firefall” that lights up Horsetail Fall for about two weeks.

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