Bridal Veil Falls

Pollock Pines / Placerville, California, USA

About Bridal Veil Falls

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2016-06-22
Date last visited: 2016-06-22

Waterfall Latitude: 38.76561
Waterfall Longitude: -120.49088

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Bridal Veil Falls was basically a drive-to waterfall with a chance to stretch out the legs while making the high-speed yet twisty drive along Hwy 50 between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe.

In fact, it doesn’t get much easier than this where you literally pull over into a very large pullout right in front of the falls.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_009_06222016 - Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls

Then, you’d get out of the car and pretty much stand right in front of its roughly 80ft drop.

Experiencing Bridal Veil Falls

During our visit in late June 2016, the falls was flowing fairly well though it was definitely waning.

I’m betting that it would probably go dry not far into Summer.

Furthermore, the morning sun didn’t help matters as it definitely created high contrast areas to conspire against taking meaningful photos of it.

That said, we were able to scramble down besides the highway bridge right next to the falls to get right down to its bottom.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_013_06222016 - Someone who managed to scramble to the base of Bridal Veil Falls to cool off
Someone who managed to scramble to the base of Bridal Veil Falls to cool off

We did this scramble despite a sign here warning about a possible sudden increase of water down here.

It was hard to see the full context of the Bridal Veil Falls from so up close.

However, earlier on, we were able to pull over to the shoulder on the opposite side of Hwy 50 to glimpse the waterfall from there.

While it was tempting to cross the four-lane Hwy 50 by foot, I would highly recommend against it because cars and trucks whiz by at over 60mph.

It would be difficult for anyone to suddenly stop for pedestrians as they round the blind turns around here.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_002_06222016 - Looking across the busy and high-speed Hwy 50 at the Bridal Veil Falls
Looking across the busy and high-speed Hwy 50 at the Bridal Veil Falls

The better bet would be to get back in the car and find a more suitable place to make the wide turn (when safe).

Then, get out of the car and enjoy in relative peace (though the motor vehicles passing by definitely disturb the peace).

The side of Hwy 50 heading to South Lake Tahoe (going east) had the very wide pullout, which was mostly in shade in the morning.

This would be the preferred side to pull out and walk right up to the waterfall.

The side of Hwy 50 going to Sacramento had narrower shoulders and not a whole lot of room to move around other than along the highway.


Bridal Veil Falls resides near Pollock Pines in El Dorado County, California. To my knowledge, it is not administered by an official government authority. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you may want to visit this website.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_032_06222016 - Broad look towards the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_040_06222016 - Here's a more angled view at the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_046_06222016 - Looking back at a partial view of Bridal Veil Falls in the context of the very wide pullout adjacent to the eastbound lanes of Hwy 50

The key thing about experiencing Bridal Veil Falls was making sure not to miss it while whizzing by along Hwy 50.

From South Lake Tahoe, we drove about 44 miles west on Hwy 50 to the falls (taking just under an hour).

Going in this direction, we had to settle for pulling over to the shoulder opposite Hwy 50 from the falls.

It was not wise to try to cross Hwy 50 across four high speed lanes by foot.

However, when there was no traffic around, we did manage to quickly make a U-turn then park the car in the much larger pullout adjacent to the eastbound lanes.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_046_06222016 - Context of the huge pullout right in front of the Bridal Veil Falls along Hwy 50
Context of the huge pullout right in front of the Bridal Veil Falls along Hwy 50

Speaking of eastbound lanes, from Sacramento, we’d drive east on Hwy 50 for roughly 62 miles reaching the aforementioned wide pullout (directly in front of the falls) on the right.

This pullout was also 5.5 miles east of Pollock Pines or 19 miles east of Placerville.

For overall context, South Lake Tahoe was 62 miles (about 90 minutes drive) south of Reno, Nevada, 104 miles (2 hours drive) east of Sacramento, 139 miles (under 3 hours drive) north of Mammoth Lakes, 188 miles (about 3.5 hours drive without traffic) from San Francisco, and 443 miles (7.5 hours drive) north of Los Angeles.

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Parked at a narrow shoulder to the right of Hwy 50 west

Comprehensive sweep checking out the granite and nearby hwy 50 while oncoming traffic was whizzing by

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Tagged with: pollock pines, placerville, el dorado, sacramento, south lake tahoe, hwy 50, california, sierra nevada, waterfall, northern california

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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.
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