The trail to Bridalveil falls is easily accessed from a pulloff area on Southside Drive or a parking area off of Wawona Drive. From Southside drive it is less than 1/2 mile of easy walking. From Wawona it is shorter. A beautiful fall but timing is everything. We were here in July and you can see from the photos there is not much water. Spring is the best time to see the falls.
Once at the falls it is possible to scramble off trail at the end to get closer. The rocks can be slippery due to the water and mist so be careful if you venture up.
Because of the heavy precipitation in the Sierras during 2010-2011 winter, Bridal Veil Falls was particularly spectacular in April 2011. The asphalt trail leading to the base of the falls overflowed with water, and the base of the falls was down right rainy from the raging mist created by the falls.
One of the wonders Yosemite NP is famous for is the large number of waterfalls. One of the most beautiful is this one, called Bridal Veil Falls. Like many of the falls within the park, you can hike up close for some great views, or watch from a greater distance as in this shot.
Bridalveil Falls is one the few falls in Yosemite that doesn't dry up in the summer months. It is also the most accessible in the entire park. Just a 1/2 mile trek from the parking lot off the Wawona Road.
Bridalviel Fall is a short walk from a spacious parking lot. It is the waterfall that can be seen from Tunnel View directly across the valley from El Capitan. Follow the paved trail in the southeast corner of the parking lot a few hundred yards til another trail branches off to the right. The trail is unmarked so watch for it. After a steep climb through trees and rocks the waterfall will come into view on the right as the trail ends a way-too-small viewing area. During spring runoff, expect to get soaked with mist here!
The walk to Bridal Veil Falls takes hardly any energy at all. It's maybe the equivalent of a city block, and suddenly, there you are.
The sun shining through the spray of the waterfall created a rainbow. Beautiful!
For another view of the falls, see my Yosemite overview page.
This year, I didn't walk up to the base of the falls like I usually do because I was chauffeuring my elderly parents. But, I did get several good pictures of the big flowing falls, plus images of Cathedral Peaks and Leaning Peak nearby.
Bridalveil Fall is located near the west end of Yosemite Valley, across the Valley floor from El Capitan. It's one of the first photo stops to welcome visitors to the Valley. At 620 feet, it's not the tallest by any means. But when you step out of the car in the parking lot, you already feel its thundering power and the moisture in the air. Follow the easy, paved trail to the bottom of the Fall to get a close-up view (and a shower). Half of the water gushing down the V-shaped cliff got blown away by the wind, forming a huge rainbow at the bottom. It's spectacular.
This is the second highest falls in the park and the highest one that runs year round. it plunges 189 meters from the surrounding mountains into the Yosemite valley. There is an about 1/2 mile trail from the parking area to the falls.
From the tunnel to Tunnel view, your next stop will be Bridalveil fall. You see the fall as you drive down towards the tunnel, but from the parking lot, the falls is giant and so close. From the parking lot, it is a 0.5 mile hike to the bottom of the falls. The giant drop creates a loud noise as the water drops down on giant boulders at its base and then is let our through a river that flows down hill.
It is impressive to see it up close. You actually do not need to leave the parking lot to see the falls. For those who do not like hiking or think 0.5 miles is long, you need not worry, you can literally stay in your car and see it just as well. It is located within the valley and close to the great views of El Capitan and the beautiful Tunnel view and Valley views.
I am a Yosemite Indian and when viewing Bridal Veil Falls, which we Yosemite Paiute people call Pohono there is a tale that goes with the falls. While many visitors see it as a very beautiful place we Yosemite Indians (Paiutes) have several spooky tales concerning Bridal Veil Falls.
Some non-Indians have translated our name for the place as "Spirit of the Puffing Wind", but in reality it means more like "Spirit of the blowing mist, which is evil". In olden days we Indian people were actually afraid of the falls and would quickly walk by it.
If you Google Pohono Falls Legend and Modesto Hive, you can see a great story on the Modesto Hive about the falls. It explains a lot. So next time you go to visit Bridal Veil Falls remember that there is a Paiute story behind the the beauty of the falls and enjoy your visit to our ancient homeland, Yosemite. You can also hit the link in "Contact" if it works to see the story.