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Bridal Veil Falls

View this trail on the brand new LocalHikes.com

Highlights:

Meandering creek, wildlife viewing, lovely waterfall, great views
Near:Estes Park, CO
Scenery:
Distance:6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:1000 ft
Hike Time:3 hours
Difficulty:Moderate
Trail Condition:OK, but a few difficult spots
HikeType:Out and Back



Summary: The first two miles of this hike are along Cow Creek Trail, meandering through a lovely open meadow area along the banks of Cow Creek. While on this hike I saw numerous deer, elk, and even big horn sheep (a first for me!). The open setting provided for easy hiking and great views of the cliffs along Lumpy Ridge. When you come to the trailhead for Bridal Veil Falls bear right. The woods get thicker, and the trail steepens a bit.

The falls are considered to be one of the loveliest in the park. During the fall, when I went on this hike, there were wonderful ice formations where the water from the falls had frozen. If you cross the stream at the falls, you can scramble above the falls to a lovely cascade, as well as a series of pools above the cascade.

Assuming you can get access to this area after a snowfall, it would be a joy to snow shoe the first 2 mile section of this trail.

Trailhead: From highway 34 in Estes Park, follow MacGregor Avenue North for about a mile, then turn right onto Devils Gulch Road at the entrance to MacGregor Ranch. Follow Devils Gulch Road for about 4 miles, turning left onto the dirt McGraw Ranch Road. Follow this road a little over 2 miles and park at the turnouts just before the entrance to McGraw ranch. You need to walk past the ranch buildings to reach the Cow Creek Trailhead. (Lat:40.42979 Lon:-105.50068)
Trail Guides for Bridal Veil Falls:
RMNP - Best Easy Day Hikes
by Kent Dannen and Donna Dannen  (Globe Pequot Press)

RMNP - Panoramic Hiking Map
by Unknown  (Trail Tracks)

Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Horses,
Ranger Contact: RMNP Information (970) 586-1206
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted  104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 2   Submit your own review
Reviewed by MJM on 12/23/2012
I arrived Aug 24, 2012 at 7am, was able to watch the Sunrise from the open valley about 1 mile into the hike. The hike was pretty easy and I made it to the falls in 2.5 hours with 3 5 minute breaks along the way, just to rehydrate and have some carbs. I will be doing this again. On the way out I saw 2 women coming in carrying their 3-4 year olds in their backs, till then, I was alone on the trail, making for a perfect commune with nature. GREAT hike. Highly recommend.

Reviewed by MelissaL on 3/26/2012
My almost 4 year old boy joined my husband and I on this hike. According to my Garmin, it was 6.5 miles round trip. It took us 2 hours up and 1.5 back. This was my little boys first hike and he made it the entire way. This hike is relaxing. However, if the day is going to get hot, be prepared! The majority of this hike is out in the open sun with limited coverage. We hiked it on March 24th from 11am-3pm and I got sun on my exposed area's. Bring water and food as you will work up an appetite, and layers of clothing. Sunblock is a must. I would not reccomend this for any children under the age of 4 as the last.25 of the hike is climbing up rocks to the falls and dangerous. This was an awesome first hike and perfect for kids.

Reviewed by Chris on 6/25/2011
Memorable hike, but probably too much for four kids (11,10,7,3). We made it, but barely and ran out of water on the way down. Hot (June 25) and didn't start until 11:30. Waited for parking, but it worked out. We were pretty grumpy until the researchers let us fill our water bottles back at the ranch (thank you!!!!). Falls are beautiful, and it was a major accomplishment for my three older kids that I hope they'll never forget. Carried the 3 yr old most of the way, but she hiked quite a bit. Saw only prairie dogs (?), butterflies and a chipmunk.

Reviewed by Mindy on 4/21/2011
In answer to a prior reviewer's question, Yes there is more than one Bridal Veil Falls in Colorado. There is one near Estes in RMNP, one in Telluride, one in Glenwood Springs and one near Colorado Springs. You can see all the falls named Bridal Veil in Wikipedia at this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridal_Veil_Falls as it is a popular name around the world.

Reviewed by JG on 8/1/2010
This was a beautiful hike to a beautiful waterfall. The trail is open. Pretty even terrain. Easy hike. Does somebody know if there are two bridal veil falls in Colorado? I keep seeing one located in Telluride?

Reviewed by Candice on 7/1/2010
I hike in Estes constantly and LOVE this hike, please note that this trail as well as Dunraven, Boundary and Cow Creek/McGraw are closed due to the Cow Creek fire 7/1/10.

Reviewed by MB on 6/30/2008
This was a gorgeous hike. Stating off by a historic ranch, where we saw beavers busy in their ponds. Across a beautiful meadow with 100's of butterflies, the most amazing wild flowers(wild roses even grew on the path itself!), A path that led to an enchanting woodland area that would make any fairytale look pale in comparison. We followed the stream most of the way, it was crystal clear and the sound was soothing to the soul. Once up to the rocky area, and then to the falls, you can cross the stream bed and climb up to see the rest of the falls. It is SPLENDID. Thanks for this site which is what spurred us to go. We'll be back.

Reviewed by MB on 6/30/2008
This was a gorgeous hike. Stating off by a historic ranch, where we saw beavers busy in their ponds. Across a beautiful meadow with 100's of butterflies, the most amazing wild flowers(wild roses even grew on the path itself!), A path that led to an enchanting woodland area that would make any fairytale look pale in comparison. We followed the stream most of the way, it was crystal clear and the sound was soothing to the soul. Once up to the rocky area, and then to the falls, you can cross the stream bed and climb up to see the rest of the falls. It is SPLENDID. Thanks for this site which is what spurred us to go. We'll be back.


Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Colorado Hiking, Colorado Trails, Colorado Hikes, Larimer County Hiking, Larimer County Trails, Larimer County Hikes


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