Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bridalveil Fall Hike (Yosemite National Park)

Bridalveil Fall is a fun short hike that Ashley and I did while visiting Yosemite National Park. Bridalveil Fall is one of the most spectacular waterfall to see when you are visiting Yosemite National Park. Bridalveil Falls stands at 617 feet tall and is a very popular hiking destination for those visiting Yosemite National Park. This waterfall generally flows year round and falls from the shoulder of Cathedral Rocks down into the Yosemite Valley. When entering Yosemite Valley, you also have a great view of Bridalveil Fall from the Tunnel View.

Directions to trailhead: To get to Bridalveil Fall, coming from Orange County, take the 5 freeway heading north to Fresno, California, merge onto the 41 and head North to Yosemite National Park. Once inside Yosemite National Park, follow the 41 for about an hour to Yosemite Valley. Once you pass through the tunnel and see the tunnel view, the hiking trail to Bridalveil Fall is located just at the bottom of the hill. There are signs indicating the location of the parking area for the hike to Bridalveil Fall. The hiking trail to Bridalveil Fall begins at the end of the parking lot. During the busy summer season it can be hard to find a parking spot at this location.


Description of Hike: The hiking trail to Bridalveil Fall is a paved hiking trail that travels to a great viewing area located close to Bridalveil Fall. The hiking trail begins at the parking area and travels virtually to the base of the waterfall, which generally flows year-round. It is important to be careful as you get closer to Bridalveil Fall because the closer you get to Bridalveil Fall, the paved hiking trail can become slick. This is an out and back hike and you will return to the parking area via the same paved hiking trail. Anyone going to see Bridalveil Fall should expect to experience lots of water spray in the spring time and early summer, especially during years with large winter snow packs. While on this hike during the winter, you may encounter icy conditions. The hiking trail is part of a larger loop of the entire Yosemite Valley. This is a great hiking trail for the entire family to do together, because it paved, well marked and easy to follow.

Further Thoughts: Ashley and I both enjoyed our time seeing Bridalveil Fall. It was absolutely spectacular because there was plenty of water flowing over the waterfall even in the winter. Both Ashley and I can only imagine what the Bridalveil Fall looks like in late spring when all of the snow in the higher elevations is melting. The spring is the best time to view this waterfall. The hiking trail system in Yosemite Valley and the greater Yosemite National Park is usually well maintained and marked by the National Park Service.

This was Ashley and I's first visit to Yosemite National Park in the winter time. The winter is a great time to visit Yosemite, because there are less people than during any other time of the year. That means that you don't have to deal with crowds when going to see sights like Bridalveil Fall. Bridalveil Fall is a fun little hike and will only take you about 20 minutes to complete. It is well worth the stop as you drive into Yosemite Valley. One interesting legend about Bridalveil Fall comes from Ahwahneechee tribe, who believed that inhaling the heavy mist at the bottom of the fall improves one's chances of getting married. So for those of you hoping to get married soon, make sure you go on this hike!
Rating: Elevation Gain: Less than 100 ft. (Very Easy), Distance: 0.5 Miles Roundtrip (Very Easy).

Time to Complete Hike: 20 - 30 minutes.

MORE TRAIL WRITE-UPS ON YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

Bridalveil Fall (This Post)

Half Dome


View Bridalveil Falls in a larger map

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Ashley and I encourage and welcome our readers to submit comments about their experiences on the trails we have posted on our blog or about their own hiking experiences in general.