Bridal Veil Falls

Provo Canyon / near Orem / near Provo / Mt Timpanogos / Utah County, Utah, USA

Rating: 4     Difficulty: 1
Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Bridal Veil Falls was easily the most impressive and scenic waterfall that we managed to visit in the Salt Lake City vicinity. Its spring-fed year-round flow coming out of Cascade Mountain consisted of a pair of plunging drops followed by a long cascading segment for a cumulative height of 607ft. Being a private waterfall, apparently this place had a history of development dating back to the 1960s, which included the Eagle's Nest Lodge and Restaurant, an aerial tramway to the waterfall's top, and even a tourist train called the Heber Creeper that went along the Provo River before the falls. Over time, these facilities were destroyed by avalanche and fire, and when we showed up on Memorial Day Weekend in 2017, we didn't see much evidence of these things except for some fenced off construction site across the Provo River next to the Provo Canyon Road, which was probably to remove any further remnants of such facilities or to mitigate some apparent flood damage when Provo River was swollen with snowmelt from this heavy snowpack year. As the falls faced in a more westerly direction, we found out that the best time to take photos was in the afternoon when it benefitted from good backlighting. We were looking against the sun when we showed up earlier in the day.

Although the falls was easily seen while driving the Hwy 189 through the south end of Provo Canyon, we were able to experience the falls in a couple of different ways - one of which essentially required no walking and the other required just a very short stroll. The easiest and our most favored method was from a scenic roadside lookout area (see picture above), where we were able to best appreciate the overall grandeur of the falls from an elevated photogenic spot right by the Hwy 189. The second method was where we were able to do a short paved stroll alongside the Provo River towards the base of the waterfall. This was where there was a little stagnant pond full of algae (said to be a fish pond) as well as a neck-cranking view right up at both the lowest cascade and the waterfall's middle tier though the uppermost tier was only partially seen from this position. By the way, that paved path was said to be where the old Heber Creeper tourist train tracks were once laid.

During the paved stroll to the base, we did notice signs for several spur trails climbing steeply and joining up with a trail leading up to the base of the lower plunging drop roughly half-way up the waterfall's cumulative drop. Although we didn't do this climb (so we can't really say much about this experience), we saw dozens of people that did it. While we were content with treating this as a virtually roadside attraction, we easily could have extended our time here by doing this hike for a totally different experience that we'll have to get around to next time (if we're fortunate to come back here). As you can see from the pictures on this page, judging by how many people did the hike, it seemed like a great way to get close and intimate with Bridal Veil Falls while I'm sure would yield nice views across Provo Canyon from such an elevated vantage point.

Further east along the Provo River, there was a separate picnic area and parking lot for the so-called Upper Falls though this waterfall was on a separate drainage from the Bridal Veil Falls. The view of that waterfall from the picnic area was also only a partial one, and it turned out that the best place to view that falls was along the Hwy 189 though there wasn't an official pullout to better enjoy it. There was, however, only a road shoulder that wasn't particularly wide so putting on emergency blinkers while stopped would be a good idea, especially with such high speed traffic driving on the highway. We did none of the things to improve our experience of the Upper Falls so we can't really say more about it nor do we have a good picture of it as a result.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Bridal Veil Falls was roughly a 50-minute drive south of downtown Salt Lake City, which was most known for the beautiful Temple Square in the heart of the city's downtown areaBridal Veil Falls was roughly a 50-minute drive south of downtown Salt Lake City, which was most known for the beautiful Temple Square in the heart of the city's downtown area
Just a couple blocks to the east of downtown Salt Lake City was the Cathedral of the Madeleine, which featured a pretty grand interior that reminded us of some of the cathedrals found in EuropeJust a couple blocks to the east of downtown Salt Lake City was the Cathedral of the Madeleine, which featured a pretty grand interior that reminded us of some of the cathedrals found in Europe
The parking area closest to the base of Bridal Veil FallsThe parking area closest to the base of the falls

Partial view at the upper drops of Bridal Veil Falls from the parking areaPartial view at the upper drops of the falls from the parking area

Julie and Tahia crossing over a footbridge traversing Provo River and heading towards the paved path that was the old Heber Creeper tourist train trackJulie and Tahia crossing over a footbridge traversing Provo River and heading towards the paved path that was the old Heber Creeper tourist train track

Looking east from the bridge along Provo RiverLooking east from the bridge along Provo River

Julie and Tahia walking on the paved path that was shared between pedestrians and bikers.  However, those bikers didn't heed the signsJulie and Tahia walking on the paved path that was shared between pedestrians and bikers. However, those bikers didn't heed the signs

This was one of a handful of spur trails leaving the paved path and climbed up towards the base of the lower vertical drop of Bridal Veil FallsThis was one of a handful of spur trails leaving the paved path and climbed up towards the base of the lower vertical drop of the falls

Context of Julie and Tahia on paved path at the base of Bridal Veil FallsContext of Julie and Tahia on the paved path at the base of the falls

Looking up towards Bridal Veil Falls from its baseLooking up towards the falls from its base

Angled look at Bridal Veil Falls over some kind of fish pondAngled look at the falls over some kind of fish pond

Looking back at the parking area and footbridge near the base of Bridal Veil FallsLooking back at the parking area and footbridge near the base of the falls

This was another one of the paths leading up to the base of the lower vertical drop of Bridal Veil FallsThis was another one of the paths leading up to the base of the lower vertical drop of the falls

This was the serene picnic area for the Upper FallsThis was the serene picnic area for the Upper Falls

This was about as much of the Upper Falls as I was able to see from the picnic areaThis was about as much of the Upper Falls as I was able to see from the picnic area

This was the view from the scenic lookout of the Bridal Veil Falls at around middayThis was the view from the scenic lookout of the falls at around midday

Back at the parking area for the scenic lookout of Bridal Veil FallsBack at the parking area for the scenic lookout of the falls

Angled look towards the Bridal Veil Falls in pleasant afternoon lightAngled look towards the falls in pleasant afternoon light

Broad look at the upper two tiers of Bridal Veil Falls to show the surrounding cliffs of Cascade MountainBroad look at the upper two tiers of the falls to show the surrounding cliffs of Cascade Mountain

Zoomed in look at the many people cooling off at the base of Bridal Veil FallsZoomed in look at the many people cooling off at the base of the falls

Closer look at the dozens of people who made it up to the base of the lower vertical drop of Bridal Veil FallsCloser look at the dozens of people who made it up to the base of the lower vertical drop of the falls

Julie and Tahia enjoying a nice view of Bridal Veil Falls from the scenic lookoutJulie and Tahia enjoying a nice view of the falls from the scenic lookout


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Full 360 degree sweep from the base of Bridal Veil Falls at the paved walkway alongside Provo River


360 degree sweep of Bridal Veil Falls from the scenic viewpoint with almost perfect late afternoon lighting


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From downtown Salt Lake City, we went west towards one of the on-ramps for the I-15 heading south. We then drove on the I-15 South for roughly 36 miles to the Hwy 52 in Orem (exit 272). Leaving the I-15 and heading east on Hwy 52, we then drove for roughly 4 miles before keeping left to join the Hwy 189. Once we were headed northeast on the Hwy 189, we then were able to choose how we wanted to experience the Bridal Veil Falls and neighboring Upper Falls. Each of these options were roughly 45-50 minutes drive from downtown Salt Lake City. These options were:
  1. Reaching the base of Bridal Veil Falls
  2. The Upper Falls Picnic Area
  3. Viewing Bridal Veil Falls from the Scenic Lookout
For option #1, in order to reach the base of Bridal Veil Falls, we took the exit by the brown sign pointing the way to Upper Falls Park, Nunn's Park, and Bridal Veil Park (roughly 3.2 miles from the Hwy 52/Hwy 189 junction). This offramp put us on Provo Canyon Rd, which we then drove another 0.6 miles to a parking area just past the Bridal Veil Falls itself. From there, we were able to walk over a footbridge spanning Provo River, which then allowed us to join the bike and pedestrian paved path towards the falls.

For option #2, in order to reach the Upper Falls Picnic Area, we merely had to drive another 0.7 miles east of the aforementioned parking area (option #1) along Provo Canyon Road. It was well-signed and it had a dedicated parking area with restroom facility.

For option #3, in order to reach the scenic lookout, we took a blue-signed exit labeled "Scenic Area" roughly 3.7 miles from the Hwy 52/Hwy 189 junction (or about 0.5 miles past the exit towards Nunn's Park mentioned above). This scenic area had a fairly spacious parking lot with a commanding view of Bridal Veil Falls where the base of the lower drop was at nearly eye-level with this vantage point.

To give you some geographical context, Salt Lake City was about 45 miles (45 minutes drive) north of Provo, about 302 miles (over 4 hours drive) north of St George, 234 miles (over 3.5 hours drive) northwest of Moab, 215 miles (3 hours drive) south of Idaho Falls, Idaho, 421 miles (over 5.5 hours drive) north of Las Vegas, Nevada, and 688 miles (over 9.5 hours drive) north of Los Angeles, California.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.


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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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