Located in Yosemite National Park Bridalveil Fall is one of the most popular sites within the park. This 620 feet (189 meters) waterfall can be seen from Tunnel View and has a great walking trail to the base of it.
It was named Bridalveil because when the wind gusts it can fan out the waterfalls lower portion giving it the look of a white, lacy veil.
The Ahwahneechee called this falls the Pohono which meant Spirit of the Puffing Wind.
Whether you are spending one day in Yosemite or a few days this is a site you do not want to miss.
Bridalveil Fall - Yosemite National Park
The falls are truly epic from April to June when melting snow creates epic runoff. If you are visiting during this time you will want to be prepared to get WET!
We walked out to the falls in April and even from a safe distance for the base of the falls we were soaked from the mist. It was honestly amazing to see how much water was crashing down from the falls.
Make sure to wear shoes that have good traction and clothes you don't mind getting wet. We brought this camera cover and wished we would have also brought something to cover the lens in between photos. We ended up walking closer with our phones and keeping the camera covered it was so wet.
One of the best things about this waterfall is it flows year-round! Even in the fall and winter, there is normally some water flowing over the top.
Keep an eye out for rainbows at the base of the falls during the afternoon. The sun hits perfectly to create rainbows in the mist of the waterfall which can make epic photos.
I do have to mention that Bridalveil Fall is one of the most popular spots in the park! You can expect to see multiple large tour buses pulled over on the southside drive along the side of the road and hundreds of people trying to get the best Instagram photo in the world.
While Yosemite Falls get a ton of focus you honestly do not want to miss Bridalveil Fall! It is worth dealing with a little crazy in the parking area to check out this epic spot.
Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation Project
The rehabilitation project started in 2019 and is due to be complete in Fall 2022.
The purpose of the Bridalveil Fall Area Rehabilitation Project was to:
- Improve visitor services at the base of the waterfall, including restroom facilities
- Protect natural and cultural resources in the area
- Reduce crowding on the trails and the viewing platform
- Improve safety and congestion in and around the parking lot
- Improve interpretation and wayfinding
- Improve accessibility for visitors
Best views of Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite
BridalVeil Fall Parking Lot
I love taking pictures of the falls from the parking lot especially when the trees have a ton of green and frame the falls. Plus you don't have to get wet and can easily move around for different photos. KEEP AN EYE OUT for cars though!
Always remember that people are staring in awe at a 620-foot waterfall and may forget to look down and actually pay attention to the parking lot.
The view of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View is honestly just plain epic! You can see not only Bridalveil Falls but also El Capitan, Half Dome, and the entire valley!
Across the Merced River
There is a great pull-off that gives you the perfect shot of Bridalveil Fall with the Merced River in the foreground.
Bridalveil Fall Trail/Walking Path
Length: ½ mile, round-trip
Elevation Gain: Approximately 80 ft (24 m)
Trail surface: Paved from the parking lot, be prepared for it to be wet especially during the spring and icy in the winter.
ADA/Wheelchair Accessibility: The trail is accessible but there is a steep portion towards the end if you want to reach the base of Bridalveil Fall.
The trail splits into two different viewing platforms. You can walk up to the base of the falls or go to a lower viewing point that crosses Bridalveil Creek to give you a different perspective of the falls.
Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation Project
The National Park Service is working to update the area surrounding Bridalveil Fall. You can expect to see construction during your visit right now.
The updates will include new flush toilet bathrooms (YEAH), more accessible trails, and updating the parking lot with more spaces.
Bridalveil Fall loop trail is being reconstructed and redesigned to link the parking lot, historic carriage road, and vista point so visitors can enjoy the falls without any distractions.
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BridalVeil Falls Travel Tips
Parking: There is a fairly good size parking lot near the trailhead. It is a one-way circle so plan to spend some time in line as people wait for parking spaces to open up. We have always been able to get a parking space it just might take a few minutes.
Bathrooms: There is a bathroom near the trailhead with four separate bathroom stalls. I will say that for some reason this bathroom has been quite smelly at different times. I would suggest using the bathroom before walking to the falls. The sound of the water in the creek can make a slight urge to use the bathroom feel urgent by the time you get back and have to wait in line.
Water: There is currently no water available at the trailhead. You will want to bring water with you. Even though the trail is short it can get hot and super busy. It is better to be prepared and have water with you.
-If you are visiting in the spring make sure you have shoes that can get wet.
-Wear layers that can get wet
The falls is also known as
- Bridal Veil Falls
- Bridalveil Waterfall
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Bridalveil Fall Photography
Best Months for photos - Late March to June for rushing water
During spring a rainbow can stretch across the falls late in the afternoon. It becomes visible at the base of the falls and then moves up as the sun sinks.
You will need a wide-angle lens to fit the entire waterfall into one photo
If you are visiting in the Spring you will want to bring a camera cover and lens wipes. You can get soaked from the spray!
Take photos from the parking lot as you pull in. They look amazing!
I would not be a very good park ranger if I did not take a few minutes to talk about safety!
Please be careful on the wet trail and near the base of the falls. The trail can be very slippery and it is easy to slip without meaning to.
Please DO NOT climb on the rocks that are in the river. I know that they look like they should provide an epic view of the falls but they are also slippery, potentially covered in moss and other slippery substances and people fall from them often.
The last thing you want on your Yosemite vacation is to have to rescued and taken to the medical clinic or medivac helicoptered out of the park.
There are a ton of great viewpoints of the falls without having to climb on the rocks or get off the main trail. Your safety is more important than tempting wet slippery rocks.
I will take my flat hat off now and wish you an amazing trip to Yosemite National Park! It is an epic national park and truly one of my favorite places in the world.
Directions/How to get to Bridalveil Fall
Drive 1.5 miles east into Yosemite Valley on Highway 41 from Tunnel View overlook.
From Yosemite Valley, take Highway 140 to the intersection with Highway 41. Turn right and make an immediate left into the parking area for Bridalveil Fall.
Additional Yosemite Articles
Yosemite Camping - Information on every campground in Yosemite including site photos and reservation info.
Things to do in Yosemite - The top things you do not want to miss during your trip to the park.
Yosemite Valley Lodge - Room video tour and photos, what to expect during a stay at this great lodge in the park
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