Bridal Veil Falls

Estes Park, Colorado 80517

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls Professional Review and Guide

"Meadows and aspen groves surround the way to a falls easy to imagine from its name."

More Bridal Veil Falls Professional Reviews and Guides

"The rushing waters of the spring runoff make this the ideal time of year to view this lovely waterfall. This hike to Bridal Veil Falls utilizes the excellent trail system of Rocky Mountain National Park, and yet no park fee is required from this trailhead. Pets, bikes and vehicles are forbidden. The trail is gradual and becomes steeper just before reaching the lovely waterfall.

Spring is the ideal time for viewing the falls, since the snowmelt provides good runoff into Cow Creek. Any hike into Rocky Mountain National Park is a great chance to view wildlife because of their protected status within the park. Numerous beaver dams can be seen along the creek. While those critters are largely nocturnal, look for dippers (water ouzels) near the falls. Elk and deer are also frequently sighted along the banks of Cow Creek."

"While the spectacular main body of Rocky Mountain National Park is justifiably famed, the park has several corners worth investigating. Bridal Veil Falls on Cow Creek is one. Located north of Estes Park in the eastern sector of Rocky Mountain National Park, Bridal Veil Falls Trail is a 3-mile, flowery trek to a 20-plus-foot-high waterfall plunging over a dark rock face.

Most of the route is quite gentle, but the last segment is a steep rocky pitch to the base of the falls. Wildflower alert: More than 80 wildflower species make for a colorful excursion."

"Meadows and aspen groves surround the way to a waterfall easy to imagine from its name. In spring, this may be the most interesting and spectacular waterfall in the national park. Waterfalls commonly have been named for a common item of wedding attire, so Rocky Mountain National Park also has its Bridal Veil Falls.

It seems unfortunate that a name made mundane by overuse should label what may be the most unusual and interesting waterfall in the national park. No less dull would be The Falls or merely Waterfall. Bridal Veil Falls is doubly cursed by being formed by Cow Creek, a name saved from equal dullness only by alliteration. When bolstered by melting snow, Cow Creek bursts over a ledge and crashes into a basin whose form throws the water back into the air."

"Waterfall lovers will delight at this combination fall that tumbles down from on high as a cascade, slips along low-angle rock as a slide, and finally spreads its waters in a frothy veil. The hike follows Cow Creek and offers splendid views of 9,794-foot Sheep Mountain in the northeast quadrant of Rocky Mountain National Park.

From the trailhead at McGraw Ranch, hike past the gate and up the gravel road and follow the bend to the left past cabins. At the first trail junction, go straight to stay on
the Cow Creek Trail. Pass a privy to the right of the road and ascend timber steps. Ahead in the distance you will see 10,859-foot Dark Mountain, and to the right of the trail you will pass Sheep Mountain rising nearly 300 feet from the valley floor. Pass the trail junction to the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead and continue straight."

Bridal Veil Falls Reviews

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9/14/2018
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8/11/2009
This was a nice little half-day trip my girlfriend and I did. Very easy, and just really nice scenery. Great little place to take a break under the waterfall at the end of the trail. Perfect for having a late lunch/snack, and getting a little frisky in front of all the chipmunks. ;) Just make sure you're the last ones up for that last part. ;) Will. Never. Forget. This. Day. :)
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7/14/2009
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10/4/2008
A perfect fall hike. It was 6.4 miles RT of packed trail on a beautiful fall day with smatterings of golden aspen trees all around. Traffic was light - only saw about 10 other hikers, which always makes me happy. The beginning of the trail traverses an old dude ranch so it's wide open and easy travel. Eventually it moves along Cow Creek with small waterfalls here and there with the babbling brook sound. For the last mile, you move into the woods, along the creek, with a small bit of climbing up to the falls, nothing too difficult by Colorado standards. A few good spots in front of the falls for a lunch before heading back. There is about 1000' elevation gain which is barely noticeable until you realize how much faster the trip back is compared to the trip in. This is definitely a keeper.
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7/6/2003
The trail starts out as an old Jeep trail. The Cow Creek trail and Bridal Veil Falls trail fork at 2 miles in a beautiful field surrounded by aspen trees. The last 300 yards to the falls are steep. Overall, it's an easy trail.
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Bridal Veil Falls Photos

Trail Information

Estes Park
Nearby City
6
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
4 hours
Duration
Fall
Season
Waterfalls
Features
Rocky Mountain National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Estes Park
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018