Bridal Veil Falls

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

About Bridal Veil Falls


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2017-05-28
Date last visited: 2020-08-10

Waterfall Latitude: 40.33832
Waterfall Longitude: -111.60115

Waterfaller Newsletter

Get over the hump of the mid-week blues! Subscribe and get exclusive curated content delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

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.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_124_05282017 - The full context of Bridal Veil Falls
The full context of Bridal Veil Falls

Combining all of these parts, Bridal Veil Falls had a cumulative height of 607ft, which made it one of Utah’s tallest.

Being a private waterfall, apparently this place had a history of development dating back to the 1960s.

This 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.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_022_05282017 - Looking up at the Bridal Veil Falls from across the fish pond at its base
Looking up at the Bridal Veil Falls from across the fish pond at its base

By the time 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.

When we came back in mid-August 2020, we still saw the presence of construction vehicles and fencing around Bridal Veil Falls so whatever was going on here appeared to be long term.

I wondered if they were seeking to remove any further remnants of such facilities.

Or maybe, they tried to mitigate the after-effects of flood damage (when the Provo River might swell from heavy snowpack and snowmelt) or rockfalls and avalanches (from the canyon’s steep walls).

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_076_08102020 - Context of the parking area at the base of Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon as seen in mid-August 2020
Context of the parking area at the base of Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon as seen in mid-August 2020

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 handful of ways.

Experiencing Bridal Veil Falls from a scenic roadside lookout

The easiest and our most favored method of experiencing Bridal Veil Falls was from a scenic roadside lookout area (see the picture at the top of this page).

This was where we were able to best appreciate the overall grandeur of the falls from an elevated photogenic spot right by the Hwy 189.

As a result, we could enjoy this waterfall without driving the Hwy 189 distracted.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_095_05282017 - Julie and Tahia enjoying a similar view of Bridal Veil Falls later in the day
Julie and Tahia enjoying a similar view of Bridal Veil Falls later in the day

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 learned this the hard way as we were looking against the sun when we showed up earlier in the day.

Experiencing the base of Bridal Veil Falls

The second method of experiencing Bridal Veil Falls 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 parts of the waterfall.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_014_05282017 - Context of Julie and Tahia on the concrete stroll passing before the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Context of Julie and Tahia on the concrete stroll passing before the base of Bridal Veil Falls

Both the lowest cascade and the waterfall’s middle tier were easily visible, but 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.

Scrambling up to the base of Bridal Veil Falls’ Main Drop (Difficulty: 2)

While it was easy to be content with treating Bridal Veil Falls as a virtually roadside attraction, scrambling up to the base of the waterfall’s tallest drop yielded a different and more intimate experience.

After crossing the footbridge over the Provo River near the base of Bridal Veil Falls, there was a shelter with some scrambling trails ascending immediately behind it.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_005_08102020 - After crossing the footbridge over the Provo River near the base of Bridal Veil Falls, I encountered this shelter with some scrambling paths behind it leading to the base of the waterfall's tallest drop
After crossing the footbridge over the Provo River near the base of Bridal Veil Falls, I encountered this shelter with some scrambling paths behind it leading to the base of the waterfall’s tallest drop

This trail ascended a ledge trail that quickly went into a very steep and eroded gully.

While most people (myself included) climbed directly up this very steep and eroded gully (steep enough to kick loose rocks or even slide down on a misstep), it turned out that there was an easy-to-miss switchback.

The continuation of the trail actually climbed to the left at the start of the apparent eroded scramble, but then it eventually reached another switchback.

From that switchback, the trail then went back across to the traverse of the eroded gully where I noticed bent poles and failing retaining infrastructure (illustrating just how much erosion happens here).

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_067_08102020 - This was the very steep eroded gully that most visitors would scramble on not knowing that the continuation of the trail switched back to the opening on the left of this picture
This was the very steep eroded gully that most visitors would scramble on not knowing that the continuation of the trail switched back to the opening on the left of this picture

This would have been where the direct scramble would have ended up, but after having done it, I personally wouldn’t recommend it.

Not only was it unsafe, but it also undermined the trail that was traversing it due to the accelerated erosion of many people doing that scramble.

I’m thinking that a sign could be very useful here to point people towards that easy-to-miss switchback to curb the erosion here (though there was a sign earlier saying this trail was unmaintained and you proceed at your own risk).

Anyways, beyond this traverse of the eroded gully, the trail then continued its ledge hugging before finally ascending gently to the base of the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_019_08102020 - Looking back at the context of the trail leading up to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls' tallest drop backed by the contours of Provo Canyon
Looking back at the context of the trail leading up to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls’ tallest drop backed by the contours of Provo Canyon

When I showed up at midday in mid-August 2020, I was pretty much looking up against the sun at the waterfall as I came at the worst time for taking photos.

However, it was a good time to look across Provo Canyon as well as looking further to the east for the canyon’s context.

I saw quite a few people climbing a nearby ledge to get a little higher on the slope to better feel the spray of the wispy waterfall.

And I also saw some people doing the direct scramble up the run of the cascading section of Bridal Veil Falls from its very bottom to get up here (another route I wouldn’t recommend).

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_053_08102020 - Looking up at the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls from its base after having climbed up here on the unmaintained scrambling trail
Looking up at the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls from its base after having climbed up here on the unmaintained scrambling trail

So in total, I wound up spending a little over 30 minutes in total to do this scramble and returning to the parking area at the bottom of the falls.

I would bump up the difficulty of this particular way of experiencing Bridal Veil Falls to a 2 from a 1.5 due to the eroded sections and dropoff hazards.

A Separate Waterfall called Upper Falls?

Further east along the Provo River, there was a separate picnic area and parking lot for the so-called Upper Falls.

This waterfall was on a separate drainage from the Bridal Veil Falls.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_031_05282017 - Contextual view of what I believe to be the Upper Falls, which was on a separate drainage from Bridal Veil Falls. However, it was hard to get a good look at it
Contextual view of what I believe to be the Upper Falls, which was on a separate drainage from Bridal Veil Falls. However, it was hard to get a good look at it

The view of that waterfall from the picnic area was also only a partial one.

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 if you were to try this, 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.

Authorities

Bridal Veil Falls resides in Provo Canyon near Provo in Utah County, Utah. It is administered by the Utah County Public Works Department. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_073_08102020 - Julie and Tahia having a picnic in the shade by the bridge over the Provo River while trying to avoid the Summer heat of our mid-August 2020 visit to Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_003_08102020 - Looking upstream along the Provo River from the footbridge spanning it as seen during our mid-August 2020 visit to Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_004_08102020 - Looking downstream from the footbridge over the the Provo River during our mid-August 2020 visit to Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_010_08102020 - Shortly after the sign saying the trail up to the base of Bridal Veil Falls' largest drop was unmaintained, I encountered this very steep and eroded gully
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_011_08102020 - Looking back down across the Provo Canyon while scrambling up the very steep gully not knowing that there was a better way up that avoids this gully
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_012_08102020 - Scrambling further up the badly eroded and very steep gully that turned out to be quite a bit more dangerous than I had anticipated as I scrambled up to the base of the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls in August 2020
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_013_08102020 - Towards the top of this eroded climb, I see bent poles and some crumbling infrastructure holding up the trail that traversed this gully on the way to the base of the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_015_08102020 - Beyond the roded gully, the trail continued to ascend alongside this ledge with some minimal infrastructure trying to minimize erosion at the edges of this trail (as seen in August 2020)
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_017_08102020 - From the ledge trail that I was on in August 2020, I got this look back across Provo Canyon showing how high up I was as the people at the base of Bridal Veil Falls looked really small
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_020_08102020 - Finally starting to see the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls as I approached its base, but as you can see, the mid-day sun was not kind to me during my August 2020 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_022_08102020 - Final approach to the base of the highest drop of Bridal Veil Falls in August 2020
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_024_08102020 - Another look at the context of the narrow trail leading up to the base of the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls during my August 2020 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_031_08102020 - Profile look up against the sun at the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls from the base of that drop as seen in August 2020
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_035_08102020 - A couple scrambling a little further to the base of the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls as seen in August 2020
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_037_08102020 - Looking down at a trio of people scrambling up the run of the cascading part of Bridal Veil Falls to the base of the tallest drop. I personally wouldn't recommend going up that way because it was very steep
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_038_08102020 - Looking across a mossy ledge fronting the base of the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls as seen in August 2020
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_044_08102020 - Looking towards the trio of people that managed to go directly up to this spot from the base of the cascades, which was definitely way harder than the way I took to get here in August 2020
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_045_08102020 - A couple starting to head back after having their fill of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_051_08102020 - Another look towards the context of the base of the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls before I started to head back down on my August 2020 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_059_08102020 - Another look back down at the base of Bridal Veil Falls from the ledge trail as I started to head back to the bottom during my August 2020 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_061_08102020 - Looking back at more people approaching the base of the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls while I was heading back down during my August 2020 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_065_08102020 - It was only when I was heading back to the bottom did I realize that I never had to scramble up the eroded gully all along. Indeed, this was the far end of the switchback that would have avoided that dangerous stretch as I was returning back from the base of the tallest drop of Bridal Veil Falls in August 2020
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_068_08102020 - Finally making it back to the bottom of the Bridal Veil Falls scramble during my visit in August 2020
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_003_05282017 - Partial view at the upper drops of Bridal Veil Falls from the parking area close by the Provo River. This photo and the rest of the photos in this gallery was taken in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_005_05282017 - Julie and Tahia crossing over a footbridge traversing Provo River and heading towards the paved path that was the old Heber Creeper tourist train track during our late May 2017 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_008_05282017 - Looking east from the bridge along Provo River in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_011_05282017 - Julie and Tahia walking on the paved path that was shared between pedestrians and bikers.  However, those bikers didn't heed the signs during our late May 2017 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_013_05282017 - 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 Falls. I punted on going up this route during our late May 2017 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_015_05282017 - Looking up towards Bridal Veil Falls from its base as seen in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_026_05282017 - Looking back at the parking area and footbridge near the base of Bridal Veil Falls after having our fill from down here in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_027_05282017 - This was another one of the paths leading up to the base of the lower vertical drop of Bridal Veil Falls, which I punted on during our late May 2017 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_028_05282017 - Last look back at the busy bike and pedestrian path before the Bridal Veil Falls along the Provo River in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_035_05282017 - This was about as much of the Upper Falls as I was able to see from its designated picnic area during our late May 2017 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_041_05282017 - Looking towards the entirety of Bridal Veil Falls in the late morning or midday of our late May 2017 visit from the scenic lookout
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_042_05282017 - Broad view from the scenic lookout of the Bridal Veil Falls at around midday during our late May 2017 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_049_05282017 - Looking back across Provo Canyon from the scenic lookout of Bridal Veil Falls in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_063_05282017 - The parking area for the scenic lookout of Bridal Veil Falls as seen in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_057_05282017 - Julie and Tahia enjoying their elevated view of the Bridal Veil Falls in the late morning of our late May 2017 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_069_05282017 - Context of Bridal Veil Falls with some machinery and lots of people at its base when we came back in the afternoon of our late May 2017 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_070_05282017 - Angled look towards the Bridal Veil Falls in pleasant afternoon light on a Memorial Day Weekend in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_072_05282017 - Focused on just the primary upper two drops of the Bridal Veil Falls as seen in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_076_05282017 - Looking towards the mouth of Provo Canyon from the scenic lookout for Bridal Veil Falls in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_080_05282017 - Broad look at the upper two tiers of Bridal Veil Falls to show the surrounding cliffs of Cascade Mountain as seen in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_090_05282017 - Zoomed in look at the many people cooling off at the base of Bridal Veil Falls in late May 2017
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_099_05282017 - Zoomed in look at the dozens of people who made it up to the base of the lower vertical drop of Bridal Veil Falls during our late May 2017 visit
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_115_05282017 - One person looked like he was on a loose trail en route to the bottom of the upper drop of Bridal Veil Falls. I got the feeling that what he was doing was definitely not sanctioned
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_118_05282017 - Context of some people following a precarious cliff ledge in pursuit of the base of the upper drop of Bridal Veil Falls in late May 2017

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


To reach Bridal Veil Falls 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.

Option #1: The Base of Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_001_05282017 - The parking area close by the pedestrian and biking path along the Provo River and the base of Bridal Veil Falls
The parking area close by the pedestrian and biking path along the Provo River and the base of Bridal Veil Falls

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.

Option #2: The Upper Falls Picnic Area

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.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_033_05282017 - Context of the picnic area for the Upper Falls where you really have to look hard to find that waterfall among the cliffs
Context of the picnic area for the Upper Falls where you really have to look hard to find that waterfall among the cliffs

It was well-signed and it had a dedicated parking area with restroom facility.

Option #3: The Scenic Lookout of Bridal Veil Falls

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.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_068_05282017 - The parking area for the scenic lookout of Bridal Veil Falls off the Hwy 189 exit for 'Scenic Area'
The parking area for the scenic lookout of Bridal Veil Falls off the Hwy 189 exit for ‘Scenic Area’

From this vantage point, the base of the lower drop was at nearly eye-level.

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.

Find A Place To Stay



Booking.com

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg

Sweeping around the base of the lower main drop of Bridal Veil Falls after having scrambled up to here


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

Related Top 10 Lists

Trip Planning Resources


Nearby Accommodations




Booking.com

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


Tagged with: provo, provo canyon, orem, utah county, utah, waterfall, provo river, timpanogos, hebert city, provo river parkway



Visitor Comments:

No users have replied to the content on this page


Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Bridal Veil Falls July 14, 2011 4:30 pm by Stacy Hunt - Wow! I lived in Utah until I was almost 25 and had no idea we even had waterfalls. I only recently visited Bridal Veil Falls going up Provo Canyon. I forgot my camera when I visited, but it's a beautiful falls and I'll make sure to take a pic and upload it here the next… ...Read More

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls
Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.