Photo by Ambitious Wench (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

For two weeks every February, Yosemite's Horsetail Fall appears to be composed of flowing lava rather than water when illuminated by the setting sun. This beautiful illusion is referred to as a "firefall," and it draws a large number of visitors who want to witness it in person. Due to the expanding size of these crowds, officials have announced that visitors (including photographers) will need to get a vehicle permit.

The permit requirement is an effort to deal with traffic issues and visitor safety, according to ABC7, which reports that officials are working with Yosemite Hospitality, Yosemite Conservancy, and the Ansel Adams Gallery on the matter. Details for the upcoming event are available on Event Brite where free reservations can be made.

According to the event page, Yosemite visitors planning to arrive via vehicle will need a permit to access Northside Drive between Yosemite Valley Lodge and El Capitan Crossover. Northside Drive will be closed to those without a permit from February 12th to February 26th.

A total of 250 parking permits are being offered for reservation on the Event Brite site.

The reservation requires visitors to provide vehicular information, including license plate, car make and model, and car color. Those who successfully reserve a spot will then need to pick up their permit from The Ansel Adams Gallery on the day of the reservation. Additionally, 50 or more first-come, first-serve permits will be offered at the gallery until 3PM each day.

According to the event page, in addition to getting a vehicle permit for the designation part of Northside Drive, visitors who want to see the firefall can either take a Yosemite Hospitality guided tour or hike to the viewpoints.