One of the most stunning waterfalls in Yosemite National Park is Bridalveil Falls. While it’s only about 1/4 the height of Yosemite Falls (Bridalveil Falls clocks in at 620′ tall), that’s still pretty darn tall. You may notice a few other waterfalls before this one, but this is likely to be the first prominent waterfall you see as you enter the park.
The attribute Bridalveil Falls shares with Yosemite Falls is that there are so many different places to view the falls. With so many options, you may get the feeling that you’re seeing a completely different waterfall (though you’re not). As you follow the loop drive, there is a parking area very close to the falls. It’s a short walk along a paved trail to the base. In mid-May, the waterfall was thundering, and the spray made it almost impossible to photograph at the base, though it did guarantee you would get soaked in a very short amount of time. I was able to get some great shots at the start and along the trail where there wasn’t so much spray.
As you’re looping around the main road in the valley, you’ll notice Bridalveil Falls again, and you get that totally different view of the falls. The clouds may be low enough to shroud the cliff tops. The height of the falls might become a little bit lost (which, after a certain height, is tricky to gauge), but you will get a fantastic view of the much bigger picture that is Yosemite National Park.
1) Head toward Yosemite National Park. CA-140 into the park is usually the best bet for being open, though you can also enter via CA-120 or CA-41 at certain times of the year.
2) If you want to park at the Bridalveil parking lot, you will turn onto CA-41 (Wawona Road) for a VERY SHORT distance to the parking area, which will be on the left. It’s a short hike to the falls.
3) If you want to view the falls without stopping at the parking lot, follow the loop road to the Northside Drive (the northern portion of the road).
Accessibility: 10/10 (don’t remember if it was uphill on the trail?)
Where in the World is Bridalveil Falls?: map