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: 2017-05-28

Waterfall Latitude: 40.33832
Waterfall Longitude: -111.60115

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 - Bridal Veil Falls
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.

I wondered if they were seeking 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.

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.

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).

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_057_05282017 - Julie and Tahia enjoying their elevated view of the Bridal Veil Falls in the late morning
Julie and Tahia enjoying their elevated view of the Bridal Veil Falls in the late morning

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.

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.

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

However, we came back later in the afternoon and took full advantage of the better lighting.

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.

Both the lowest cascade and the waterfall’s middle tier were easily visible, but the uppermost tier was only partially seen from this position.

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

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.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_027_05282017 - Looking up at one of the scrambling paths leading higher up the Bridal Veil Falls towards the bottom of the lower main drop (above the cascades) and possibly even higher to the base of the upper drop
Looking up at one of the scrambling paths leading higher up the Bridal Veil Falls towards the bottom of the lower main drop (above the cascades) and possibly even higher to the base of the upper drop

We’ll have to get around to doing that 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.

I’m sure it would also yield nice views across Provo Canyon from such an elevated vantage point.

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, though 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, though 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_003_05282017 - Partial view at the upper drops of Bridal Veil Falls from the parking area close by the Provo River
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
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_008_05282017 - Looking east from the bridge along Provo River
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
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
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_015_05282017 - Looking up towards Bridal Veil Falls from its base
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
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
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
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_041_05282017 - Looking towards the entirety of Bridal Veil Falls in the late morning or midday of our 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
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_049_05282017 - Looking back across Provo Canyon from the scenic lookout of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_063_05282017 - The parking area for the scenic lookout of Bridal Veil Falls
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
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_070_05282017 - Angled look towards the Bridal Veil Falls in pleasant afternoon light
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_072_05282017 - Focused on just the primary upper two drops of the Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_076_05282017 - Looking towards the mouth of Provo Canyon from the scenic lookout for Bridal Veil Falls
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
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Provo_090_05282017 - Zoomed in look at the many people cooling off at the base of Bridal Veil Falls
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
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
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

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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.

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



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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

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About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of 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.
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