Bridal Veil Falls and Ingram Falls

Telluride, Colorado, USA

About Bridal Veil Falls and Ingram Falls


Hiking Distance: roadside (just to view); 3-4 miles round trip (to base of falls); about 5.5 miles loop (to top of falls)
Suggested Time: 15 minutes just to view; 3-4 hours for base of falls; 5 hours for top of falls

Date first visited: 2017-04-16
Date last visited: 2020-07-22

Waterfall Latitude: 37.91925
Waterfall Longitude: -107.77002

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Bridal Veil Falls was said to be the tallest permanent free-falling waterfall in the state of Colorado at 365ft.

Obviously when we first were made aware of the falls, it was high on our priority list, especially when we also learned that it was near the very scenic Alps-like ski-resort town of Telluride.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_428_07222020 - The context of Bridal Veil Falls on the far left with Telluride on the far right
The context of Bridal Veil Falls on the far left with Telluride on the far right

So adding all these things together, we greatly anticipated a visit here when the opportunity presented itself as we decided to do a Desert Southwest trip to the Four Corner states, which included southwestern Colorado.

However, on our first visit here in late April 2017, the waterfall was mostly frozen and the 4wd road to get closer was snowed in.

That said, we came back in late July 2020, and that was when we finally experienced this waterfall as it should be experienced, which you can get a sense of in the photo above.

It turned out that on our 2020 visit, they recently completed a new trail that went directly up to the base of Bridal Veil Falls while passing by a pair of intermediate waterfalls along the way.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_030_04162017 - Bridal Veil Falls in a frozen or snowy state when we first came here in late April 2017
Bridal Veil Falls in a frozen or snowy state when we first came here in late April 2017

Prior to that, the only way to get close to the waterfall was by either walking or driving a rough 4wd road.

Neighboring the Bridal Veil Falls was also Ingram Falls, which was the waterfall that was easily seen from within the town of Telluride (and easily mistaken for Bridal Veil Falls).

Ingram Falls was lighter flowing compared to Bridal Veil Falls, but depending on its flow, Ingram Creek could present a stream crossing obstacle.

As of this writing, authorities have said that they’re trying to complete a bridge over the creek on the new trail, but it was a pretty trivial crossing when we did this hike.

Telluride_017_07222020 - Ingram Falls is the waterfall seen in back of the town of Telluride. Bridal Veil Falls was hidden behind the mountain in the right side of this picture
Ingram Falls is the waterfall seen in back of the town of Telluride. Bridal Veil Falls was hidden behind the mountain in the right side of this picture

Speaking of the hike to get close to Bridal Veil Falls, we were now presented with various options as a result of this new trail.

For example, we could choose to do the new trail on the way up and on the way back down.

We could also choose to go old school and just hike the open 4wd road on the way up and back down.

However, we feel that you get the best of both worlds by going up on the new trail and then returning by the open 4wd road, and this is how we’ll do the trail description on this write-up.

Hiking to the Base of Bridal Veil Falls via the New Trail

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_017_07222020 - The start of the new Bridal Veil Creek Trail leading up to the base of Bridal Veil Falls
The start of the new Bridal Veil Creek Trail leading up to the base of Bridal Veil Falls

The new trail to the base of Bridal Veil Falls opened in May 2020 and is called the Bridal Veil Creek Trail.

It was a collaboration between the Telluride Mountain Club, San Juan County, Telluride, and the Idarado Mining Company.

I’d imagine that there was a lot of motivation to get this trail set up to reduce the amount of foot traffic on the 4wd road that had previously provided the only means of getting close to Bridal Veil Falls and beyond.

The Idarado Mining Company might have also been as motivated to have this trail set up so there would likely be less trespassing incidents since they own a lot of the land in this area.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_008_07222020 - Looking back across the Idarado Mining Company's settling ponds at the trailhead parking for the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Looking back across the Idarado Mining Company’s settling ponds at the trailhead parking for the Bridal Veil Creek Trail

The payoffs for doing this single-track trail pretty much involved increased shade from lots of vegetation around it as well as a pair of spur paths leading to intermediate waterfalls on Bridal Veil Creek.

It also provided a bit of variety because it passed alongside lots of volcanic rock hinting at the geology responsible for the waterfall itself.

I personally didn’t find this trail any easier than the 4wd road despite its slightly shorter distance (roughly 1.4 miles) because it was noticeably steeper (the trail gained over 800ft in that stretch).

This elevation gain was especially taxing for hikers not acclimated to the high altitude (the trailhead began at over 9000ft). Case in point, both my wife and daughter really struggled with this trail and took frequent breaks to catch their breaths.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_028_07222020 - Julie and Tahia ascending the Bridal Veil Creek Trail as it initially headed up towards part of the 4wd road before veering back away from it
Julie and Tahia ascending the Bridal Veil Creek Trail as it initially headed up towards part of the 4wd road before veering back away from it

In any case, the new trail began right from the start of the trailhead parking lot (see directions below).

From there, the trail immediately started to ascend up to the 4wd Road before the trail veered away from it and make its undulating uphill meander towards both Ingram Creek and Bridal Veil Creek.

At about a half-mile into the hike, the trail made a steep descent towards Ingram Creek, which was dry during our late July 2020 visit (though it was flowing further upstream).

This crossing was at the unfinished bridge so it may be complete by the time you read this. Otherwise, it could pose a challenge if Ingram Creek would be running high earlier in the season like late Spring or early Summer.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_117_07222020 - The Bridal Veil Creek Trail involved hiking through a mix of trees and volcanic rocks for a more naturesque experience than walking directly on the 4wd road
The Bridal Veil Creek Trail involved hiking through a mix of trees and volcanic rocks for a more naturesque experience than walking directly on the 4wd road

Beyond Ingram Creek, the trail continued its generally uphill meander before reaching an unsigned spur roughly 3/4-mile from the trailhead or 1/4-mile beyond the Ingram Creek Crossing.

This spur trail led about 200ft or so to the base of an impressive intermediate waterfall on Bridal Veil Creek.

There were more tiers further downstream of the falls so it was actually higher than what the photo above would suggest.

Nevertheless, it was a nice chill spot before continuing on with the Bridal Veil Falls hike.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_156_07222020 - The first of the impressive intermediate waterfalls on Bridal Veil Creek, which was one of the benefits of doing the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
The first of the impressive intermediate waterfalls on Bridal Veil Creek, which was one of the benefits of doing the Bridal Veil Creek Trail

Back on the main trail, in another quarter-mile or so, it reached another unsigned junction where the path on the right led briefly to a second impressive cascade on Bridal Veil Creek.

This one seemed to get more visitors because it was closer to the main trail, and I even noticed some people make the steep scramble to get all the way down to the plunge pool by its base.

In another 0.1-mile beyond the unsigned spur for the second cascade on Bridal Veil Creek, we then reached a signed three-way trail junction with the Ingram Creek Spur Trail.

Going left at this junction would eventually lead back up to the 4wd road so we kept right to continue on the still-ascending hike to the base of Bridal Veil Falls.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_208_07222020 - This was the second of the impressive intermediate waterfalls on Bridal Veil Creek, which was closer to the Bridal Veil Creek Trail than the first one
This was the second of the impressive intermediate waterfalls on Bridal Veil Creek, which was closer to the Bridal Veil Creek Trail than the first one

Finally, after another 0.3 miles of more uphill hiking, we eventually made it up to the viewing area at the base of Bridal Veil Falls.

Due to the forced perspective at its base, the view from here certainly made the waterfall seem quite a bit smaller than what it appeared like when viewed from the trailhead.

In any case, there was also a pullout area with room for a handful of 4wd vehicles and some port-a-potties for those who have a rugged-enough vehicle to handle the craters, steep grades, and rocks on the road to get here.

Because of the high-altitude struggles that my wife and daughter had with this trail, it took us nearly 2.5 hours to do the 1.4-mile hike to get here.

Hiking back to the Trailhead via the 4wd Road

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_245_07222020 - Context of the final approach to the base of Bridal Veil Falls from the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Context of the final approach to the base of Bridal Veil Falls from the Bridal Veil Creek Trail

After having our fill of the base of Bridal Veil Falls, we eventually headed back to the trailhead along the 4wd road for about 1.7 miles.

In addition to the variety and the views that the 4wd road offered (since most of it was above the trees), we also knew that it was easier to socially distance on the road than the Bridal Veil Creek Trail.

Indeed, the 4wd road had a much gentler grade, and we enjoyed the views downhill towards Telluride as well as over our shoulders back towards the context of Bridal Veil Falls and the Idarado Power Station perched at its brink.

Towards the bottom of the 4wd road, I recalled getting more contextual views of both Ingram Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in the same frame.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_573_07222020 - Context of a 4wd vehicle that went up the rugged road leading up to the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Context of a 4wd vehicle that went up the rugged road leading up to the base of Bridal Veil Falls

And instead of descending the last switchback, I just rejoined the early part of the Bridal Veil Creek Trail to directly return to the trailhead parking to end the hike.

By going up the Bridal Veil Creek Trail and back down the 4wd road, the round-trip distance was about 3.1 miles according to our trip logs.

However, the round-trip distance by exclusively using the 4wd road (i.e. the old school way of doing it) would be on the order of about 3.4 miles or so without any additional detours.

With the side excursions to the intermediate waterfalls on Bridal Veil Creek, then the round-trip distance would be closer to around 4 miles round-trip.

Continuing Beyond the Base of Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_405_07222020 - Looking back towards Telluride as I continued the ascent up the 4wd road towards the top of Bridal Veil Falls
Looking back towards Telluride as I continued the ascent up the 4wd road towards the top of Bridal Veil Falls

I actually did a little more exploration beyond the base of the Bridal Veil Falls just to see what it was like.

I managed to do this by continuing up the 4wd road as there was no more foot trail beyond the base of Bridal Veil Falls.

During the course of the additional mile that I hiked along the road, I was treated to additional birdseye views towards Telluride, closer unobstructed views of the cascading Ingram Falls, and more commanding profile views of Bridal Veil Falls with its power station.

In fact, I’d argue some of my best views of Bridal Veil Falls and the power station were from the second switchback beyond the base of Bridal Veil Falls.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_397_07222020 - Context of a 4wd vehicle on the road bryond the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Context of a 4wd vehicle on the road bryond the base of Bridal Veil Falls

However, upon taking the the spur trail towards the power station at the brink of Bridal Veil Falls, I learned that it was closed during my visit so that was a bit of an anticlimax.

I did have the option of doing a very extended hike towards backcountry lakes like the Silver Lake Basin as well as the Bridal Veil Basin, which a couple of hikers I met recommended doing.

I also had the option of continuing up the 4wd switchbacks to the Black Bear Pass Steps above the brink of Ingram Falls.

But given how much it took out of me just to even get up to the power station at the brink of Bridal Veil Falls, I was content to turn back from there.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_450_07222020 - Looking down at the power station perched above the brink of Bridal Veil Falls
Looking down at the power station perched above the brink of Bridal Veil Falls

The total distance I wound up hiking was on the order of 5.5 miles with 1300ft net elevation gain, and it took me roughly 5 hours to complete with all the photo stops along the way.

Bridal Veil Falls – the mysterious waterfall in the Jeep TV Commercial

On a loosely related note, I remembered an old Jeep TV Commercial years back where an attractive lady at a diner saw a guy she was interested in.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_601_07222020 - This crater on the first or second switchback on the 4wd road to Bridal Veil Falls illustrates why you would want to use a vehicle both with 4wd capability and very high clearance
This crater on the first or second switchback on the 4wd road to Bridal Veil Falls illustrates why you would want to use a vehicle both with 4wd capability and very high clearance

She proceeded to drop him a crumpled up napkin (making us think it was probably her phone number).

But when the dude drove his jeep up a narrow cliff-hugging road and eventually wound up at a waterfall where she was there about to do a hike, we later learned that she had scrawled latlong coordinates.

After all, “Jeep Wrangler owners speak their own language”.

At the time, I had always wondered which waterfall it was that allowed you to drive up to its top like that.

I started to suspect it could be the Bridal Veil Falls in Telluride once I was finally made aware that this waterfall existed.

Now that there’s youTube, I finally found the commercial, did a screen-capture of the note, and finally got the coordinates.

When I put those coordinates on my Topo Map, lo and behold, it was indeed Telluride’s Bridal Veil Falls!

I don’t think I’ll be seeing “Jenny” up there, but I definitely look forward to coming back here to fully experience this excursion.

Authorities

Bridal Veil Falls resides in the town of Telluride in San Miguel County, Colorado. It is administered by the town of Telluride. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Telluride_006_07222020 - The waterfall that we could see from within the town of Telluride was actually the Ingram Falls and not the Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_006_07222020 - Context looking towards the end of the official trailhead parking for Bridal Veil Falls where we could also see the main drop of Ingram Falls to the topleft
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_010_07222020 - Context of the Idarado Mining Company settling ponds and the trailhead parking for the Bridal Veil Falls accesses
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_020_07222020 - Julie and Tahia starting on the hike up the new Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_027_07222020 - Looking back at the trailhead parking area for the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_031_07222020 - Even with COVID-19, it was quite busy with unmasked hikers on the Bridal Veil Creek Trail so we definitely had to be cautious to juggle between masking up, maintaining social distance, and do all that while dealing with the thin air
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_043_07222020 - The Bridal Veil Creek Trail involved hiking between lots of trees and large boulders while also being on a narrow single-track path with some undulations
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_045_07222020 - Context of Tahia and Julie hiking amongst some interesting volcanic rocks hinting at the geology responsible for Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_046_07222020 - Looking back towards the Idarado Mining Company settling ponds from further up the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_056_07222020 - Julie and Tahia continuing their ascent up the somewhat rugged Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_065_07222020 - The Bridal Veil Creek Trail generally went uphill so it was quite taxing on the day we did this hike because we didn't allow ourselves enough time to get acclimated to the high altitude
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_075_07222020 - Julie and Tahia continuing to climb the Bridal Veil Creek Trail on the way up to the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_078_07222020 - Looking up towards the head of valley with Ingram Falls on the left and Bridal Veil Falls on the right just as it appeared to be raining up there
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_080_07222020 - Focused look at Bridal Veil Falls and its power station as seen from further along the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_084_07222020 - Looking towards Ingram Falls and its extensive sloping cascades further downstream of its main drop
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_086_07222020 - Looking up at some kind of balanced rock at the top of a cliff overlooking the Bridal Veil Creek Trail and some cascade
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_087_07222020 - Julie noticed that some of the plants along the Bridal Veil Creek Trail that had leaves that looked as if they had blood on them
Bridal_Veil_Falls_003_iPhone_07222020 - Julie and Tahia getting across a trivial crossing of Ingram Creek along the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_101_07222020 - Julie and Tahia continuing on the Bridal Veil Creek Trail with impressive wrinkly cliffs looming above us in the distance
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_105_07222020 - Julie and Tahia continuing the uphill climb along the Bridal Veil Creek Trail surrounded by impressive cliffs
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_112_07222020 - Tahia and Julie still climbing on the steep Bridal Veil Creek Trail en route to the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_124_07222020 - Context of Julie and Tahia making their way closer to one of the intermediate cascades on Bridal Veil Creek
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_132_07222020 - Approaching the first of the intermediate cascades on Bridal Veil Creek
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_143_07222020 - Frontal view of the first of the intermediate cascades on Bridal Veil Creek
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_147_07222020 - Broad look at the impressive first cascade on Bridal Veil Creek, which made for a nice chill out spot before continuing on with the hike to the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_160_07222020 - Julie and Tahia continuing to slowly make their way up the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_165_07222020 - Tahia negotiating one of the rock obstacles on the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_182_07222020 - Julie and Tahia still continuing up the Bridal Veil Creek Trail. Tahia's body language suggested that she was getting very winded at this point
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_185_07222020 - Looking back in the direction of the Bridal Veil Creek Trailhead, which indicated to us how far we had come to this point
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_189_07222020 - The thin air getting to Tahia at this point so she needed some more time to rest
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_193_07222020 - Julie and Tahia approaching the second cascade on Bridal Veil Creek
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_196_07222020 - Looking towards the second cascade on Bridal Veil Creek backed by some impressive cliffs
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_219_07222020 - Context of some people who have scrambled down to the plunge pool of that second cascade on Bridal Veil Creek
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_221_07222020 - View of the second cascade on Bridal Veil Creek from further along the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_226_07222020 - Julie and Tahia scaling this rock outcrop where this other family was chilling out along the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_232_07222020 - Partial view of Ingram Falls as seen from higher up the Bridal Veil Creek Trail
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_236_07222020 - Julie and Tahia making it up to the Ingram Creek Spur Trail junction where we then kept right to go up the final quarter-mile stretch to the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_240_07222020 - Julie and Tahia still climbing up the Bridal Veil Creek Trail en route to the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_251_07222020 - Finally making it up to the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_255_07222020 - Context of someone scrambling around Bridal Veil Creek around the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_264_07222020 - During our visit to the base of Bridal Veil Falls, there were a couple of jeeps driving back down to the lookout area. Clearly, they let their vehicles do all the work to get here
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_270_07222020 - Some signage at the Bridal Veil Falls letting us know that we have finally arrived
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_276_07222020 - Julie and Tahia finally getting to enjoy their well-earned visit of the Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_286_07222020 - Looking back at the context of the pullout parking area and port-a-potties by the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_287_07222020 - Julie and Tahia opting to go back down the 4wd road to finish off their visit of Bridal Veil Falls while I continued to go up a few more switchbacks just to see what else was up here
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_311_07222020 - Context of Ingram Falls with the continuation of the 4wd road beyond the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_330_07222020 - Looking back along the 4wd road at the context of Bridal Veil Falls, the power station at its brink, and the cliffs around it
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_342_07222020 - Looking back at a truck parked at a switchback on the 4wd road backed by interesting cliffs beyond the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_350_07222020 - Context of the approach to the next switchback on the way up to the power station
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_363_07222020 - The short trail leading to some kind of infrastructure by the profile of a side segment of the Bridal Veil Falls from further up the 4wd road beyond the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_378_07222020 - Context of a couple of hikers intending to go pretty far beyond Bridal Veil Falls as they hiked before the cascading Ingram Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_387_07222020 - Looking back at some 4wd vehicles driving before the Bridal Veil Falls from somewhere beyond its base
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_407_07222020 - Context of the next switchback on the way up to the top of Bridal Veil Falls and the power station
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_416_07222020 - Looking towards the profile of Bridal Veil Falls and the power station at its brink as the 4wd road continued to climb towards the next switchback
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_437_07222020 - Looking downstream at the context of the power statin perched precariously at the cliff's edge
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_441_07222020 - Looking back at the context of the last switchback before the spur trail leading to the power station at the top of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_443_07222020 - The sign at the start of the spur trail leading the 4wd road en route to the power station at the top of Bridal Veil Falls and beyond
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_445_07222020 - The power station at the top of Bridal Veil Falls was closed so it was a rather underwhelming reward for all the trouble it took to get up here
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_447_07222020 - Looking down over the power station perched at the brink of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_458_07222020 - Context of the continuation of the 4wd road leading up towards the brink of Ingram Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_498_07222020 - Making it back down to the base of Bridal Veil Falls as I looked up towards the power station perched at its brink
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_511_07222020 - Looking up at Bridal Veil Falls from its base backed by some blue skies as the thunderstorm was breaking up as the afternoon wore on
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_542_07222020 - Looking back up at Ingram Falls as I made the hike back down to the trailhead along the 4wd road
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_546_07222020 - Context of the 4wd road as I descended it back towards the trailhead to finish off this excursion to Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_566_07222020 - Making it down to the Ingram Creek Spur Trail deviating off from the 4wd road
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_580_07222020 - Looking back at Bridal Veil Falls with the power station backed by more blue skies as I made my way down towards the trailhead
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_582_07222020 - Context of the crossing of Ingram Creek as it flowed across the 4wd road. Note that this creek was not above the surface of the creekbed down by the Bridal Veil Creek Trail earlier on
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_603_07222020 - Looking back at the context of Bridal Veil Falls way in the distance as I continued to make my way back to the trailhead
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_610_07222020 - Finally reaching the Bridal Veil Creek Trailhead to end this hike
Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_612_07222020 - Back at the trailhead parking lot, it was considerably emptier given how late in the afternoon it was (as most people looked to have some dinner by this time)
Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_002_04162017 - Context of what I think is Ajax Peak towering over the frozen Bridal Veil Falls and the snowy switchbacks. This picture and the rest of this gallery was taken in late April 2017, which corresponded to our first visit here
Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_004_04162017 - Zoomed in look at the mostly frozen Bridal Veil Falls while approaching the Pandora Mine area
Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_042_04162017 - This switchback was about as far as 2wd vehicles could go, which was where the Valley View Parking Area was
Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_007_04162017 - Here's a look at the early part of the 4wd road leading up towards Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_008_04162017 - There was an SUV that made it up this far before it stopped in front of snow
Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_010_04162017 - Looking up at an ephemeral waterfall plunging off some interesting red cliffs
Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_013_04162017 - This was the snow covering up the next switchback as I made a feeble attempt at getting closer to the Bridal Veil Falls in Telluride
Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_015_04162017 - Looking back towards the Telluride Valley from the snow on the 4wd road up to Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_017_04162017 - More snow on the 4wd road beyond the first snow-covered switchback that I first encountered. Clearly, it wasn't very fruitful to continue on to get closer to Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_045_04162017 - From the so-called Valley View Area Parking, it was clear that we were still in a mining area managed by Idarado
Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_050_04162017 - Looking back up at the first switchback of the rough 4wd road that would have led up to the top of Bridal Veil Falls as seen from the Valley View Parking Area

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Once you get to the town of Telluride, driving to spots where you can view Bridal Veil Falls was pretty straightforward.

So from downtown Telluride, I basically continued driving east on Colorado Ave (the main drag through town) for about 2 miles past the Town Park.

The last half-mile was unpaved road as it was pretty much a mining and power plant access road.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_CO_043_04162017 - Looking back at the road leading to the parking space of the so-called Valley View Area just past the Pandora Mill
Looking back at the road leading to the parking space of the so-called Valley View Area just past the Pandora Mill

Eventually, the unpaved road reached a somewhat large open space repurposed as the trailhead parking lot for the Bridal Veil Creek Trail.

This was at the very first switchback or turn before the road made its ascent as a rough and rugged 4wd road.

This was the stopping point for passenger vehicles that neither required 4wd nor high clearance to reach.

From this trailhead parking area, the road continues up more switchbacks.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_Telluride_551_07222020 - Looking back at a truck that needed power in all of its wheels to gain enough traction to continue up this switchback on the 4wd road leading up towards the base of Bridal Veil Falls and beyond
Looking back at a truck that needed power in all of its wheels to gain enough traction to continue up this switchback on the 4wd road leading up towards the base of Bridal Veil Falls and beyond

However, it was definitely in rougher shape and clearly required at least high clearance and 4wd capability for both the vehicle’s suspension as well as traction.

For context, Telluride was 111 miles (over 2 hours drive) north of Durango, 126 miles (about 2.5 hours drive) southeast of Grand Junction, 330 miles (over 6 hours drive) southwest of Denver, 132 miles (under 3 hours drive) east of Moab, Utah, and 322 miles (about 6 hours drive) northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Longer semicircular sweep of the lowermost of the cascades below the Bridal Veil Falls


Semi-circular sweep of the second cascade on the way up to Bridal Veil Falls


360 degree sweep of the main lookout area by the 4wd road for the base of Bridal Veil Falls


Elevated sweep starting with Ingham Falls then panning over to Telluride before checking out Bridal Veil Falls from a side view near some switchback


Nearly 360 degree elevated sweep starting with Ingham Falls then panning over to Telluride with a zoom in before finally examining Bridal Veil Falls and power station on the final approach


360 degree sweep from the 2wd parking area showing some of the Idarado mining infrastructure as well as the Bridal Veil Falls and the switchbacks leading up to its top


360 degree sweep checking out a distant but frontal view of Bridal Veil Falls as well as Telluride before descending below the snow for a slightly different look at the falls

Trip Planning Resources


Nearby Accommodations



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Tagged with: telluride, colorado, san miguel county, rocky mountains, idarado, power station, waterfall



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Johnny Cheng

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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.
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