While there are many beautiful waterfalls called Bridal Veil Falls around the world, the one in Rocky Mountain National Park is a joy to walk and visit. At this time of year, the creek turns into a tumultuous body of water, creating a spectacularly splashing scene on the north side of the park.
Bridal Veil Falls is a 6.1 mile out and back trail that is rated as heavily trafficked. Guide websites say this trail is best hiked from March through November, although some people enjoy snowshoeing in the winter. The total elevation gain is 990 feet.
The adventure begins at the Cow Creek Trailhead in the Lumpy Ridge section of the park north of Estes Park. The number of parking spaces is limited, so it is best to arrive early.
The trail itself is well maintained and wide open until you get to the falls. It follows Cow Creek and offers breathtaking unobstructed views that include mountain, trees, water, and beautiful skies.
My friends and I spotted turkeys that day.
As the trail goes deeper into the woods, the altitude begins to climb. You can hear Bridal Veil Falls before you can see them, adding a sense of anticipation to the hike.
When you get to the bottom of the falls it’s a bit of a scramble to get to the base of the falling water. My friends had brought trekking poles and I didn’t. They lent me one. Next time, I’ll bring mine.
Since the recent snowfall melted in the spring, the falls were at full throttle, bouncing off the rocks below and providing a cool, gentle shower for hikers pausing to admire the stunning site. The base of the falls is a lovely place to stop for lunch or a snack. The sound of flowing and falling water is overwhelming. The water falls 20 feet from a rocky ledge.
If you can cross the stream on the left side of the falls, you can climb to the top. I am told that the view towards the valley is worth it. There was too much water and the rocks were too slippery to try it on the day we were there.
Although the trail itself is muddy in spots, we were able to easily get around these patches. For a sunny hike with all the views that make Colorado spectacular – trees, running water, meadows, rock formations, mountains, wildlife, blue skies, and a beautiful waterfall – consider Bridal Veil Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.