Bridalveil Falls, California

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.

Directions:

  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 (easy, don’t remember if it was uphill on the trail?)
Height: 620′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip (though can be viewed from other spots)

Bridal Veil Falls in mid-May 2011

Where in the World is Bridalveil Falls?

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The Cascades, California

The Cascades in May 2011

Yosemite National Park has so many amazing waterfalls, that not all of them are strongly advertised. You might be able to find a few of them on a map, and The Cascades might be on one of them, but I can’t find it on a map now! With Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Falls, and many others, it’s easy to forget the other amazing waterfalls!

I think you’ve officially entered the park by the time you see The Cascades, but I don’t believe you’ve entered the main loop. And that may be why it can be easy to miss. You may not see The Cascades depending on the direction you’ve come. I had tried to enter via CA-120 (headed south), but discovered that there was still snow falling in May. So I turned around, and connected onto CA-140, which heads into the park, and is open more. From 140, it’s almost impossible to miss The Cascades, unless you’re overwhelmed by some other breathtaking view. Still, it’s pretty hard to miss.

The total waterfall is 500′ tall (approximately), though I’m not sure about the height of the portion that is most visible. I have seen other pictures of the whole falls, but to me, it actually seems less impressive in the whole. Focusing just on the last drop, it seems to be very similar to the lower portion of Yosemite Falls. In May 2011, the flow over the falls was intense, which made stopping worthwhile.  Another waterfall, Wildcat Falls, is very close by.

Directions:

  1. Head east along CA-140, entering into Yosemite National Park. You will have passed the pay station already.
  2. A little less than 2 miles from the CA-140/CA-120 junction, you’ll find the parking pull-off for the falls. I didn’t have any difficulty finding a spot. (Use the junction as a guide. If you’ve passed the junction and you’re headed further into the park, you can turn around to find the falls. You could just try and see the falls on the way out, unless you’re taking a different route.)

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 500′ (that can be viewed)
Length of Hike: roadside

Where in the World is The Cascades?

Bridesmaid Falls #2, Pennsylvania

The other Bridesmaid Falls in May 2009

Bushkill Falls Park is a really great place to spend a few hours on a beautiful, sunny spring or summer afternoon. There are seven named waterfalls in the park and at least one hidden waterfall. As I’ve said before, there seems to be a wedding theme for a few of the falls. There’s Bridalveil Falls, Bridesmaid Falls #1, and Bridesmaid Falls #2. Each of them is beautiful in its own right, though not as large as the park’s namesake, Bushkill Falls.

I believed I visited the falls earlier in the day, possibly soon after it opened. At that point in time, the park wasn’t particularly busy. After I had visited almost all of the falls, the number of visitors started increasing steadily. If you are crowd-averse, the afternoon may not be the best time to visit. It may seem pricey, but it is definitely worth it for the number of falls you will see.

Directions:

  1. You can access the Bushkill Falls park from US-209 in Pennsylvania.
  2. From US-209, turn onto Bushkill Falls Road near the town of Bushkill.
  3. From there, head down that road to the sign for the entrance to the park.
  4. Park in the parking lot. The park opens at different times depending on the season, but it is best to arrive as early as possible. It is a very popular attraction.
  5. From there, pay the entrance fee, making sure to get a brochure with map. The map will help you get to Bridesmaid Falls and its wedding partners.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 2 miles round-trip (to see all falls)

Where in the World is Bridesmaid Falls?

Bridal Veil Falls, Michigan

I missed Bridal Veil Falls the first time I went searching for it…and I was staring right at it! Not that I would have been able to really tell. Bridal Veil Falls is extremely seasonal in nature. Of the three (maybe four) times I’ve visited the falls, I’ve only seen water flowing once. It actually baffles me that it gets so much attention compared to the more impressive waterfalls in the park.

The first time I visited, I took a picture of the cliffs, and then realized later that I had taken a picture of the spot where Bridal Veil Falls was, but there was really no water flowing. It was “wet”, but it just looked like any normal cliff. That was understandable, considering it was July or August, and it had dried up by then.

The second time I visited in May, and by then the waterfall had already dried up. I was surprised it had disappeared so quickly. The third time was the charm, and I finally saw the falls. If you look to your right while standing at the Miners Castle viewpoint, you might be able to see the falls if they’re flowing. They can also be seen from the Miners Beach if you’re looking at just the right angle. To get a good photo from any of those spots, you really do need a camera that can zoom in, as you’re still some distance from the falls.

I also hiked along an unofficial trial to see if I could get a better view, starting right near Miners Beach Falls. It was a very muddy hike, and in the end, I have to admit I really didn’t get any better views. I did get to see some other beautiful scenery, though. You might consider taking a cruise, but I wouldn’t bet on seeing the falls unless it’s been raining like crazy. Take a cruise to see the much more impressive and permanent Spray Falls.

Directions:

  1. Go down Miner’s Castle Road (Alger County Road H-13) passing over Miners River.
  2. You’ll reach a point where you can turn left toward Miners Castle or turn right toward the Lakeshore trail head. Head toward Miner’s Castle, and from the Miner’s Castle viewpoint, you might just be able to see the falls.
  3. From the Lakeshore trail head, you might also try heading toward Lake Superior, and if you walk down the beach, the falls will come into view at some point.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 134′
Length of Hike: not applicable

Bridal Veil Falls in mid-May 2009

Where in the World is Bridal Veil Falls?

Unnamed Pond Run Falls, Pennsylvania

The hidden waterfall on Pond Run in Bushkill Falls Park (May 2009)

I have very quickly discovered that we are sometimes very inconsistent in our waterfall reporting.  Sometimes, waterfalls just seem too small to be of interest, especially when there are larger falls nearby.  Other times, the views are just particularly poor (or even non-existent).  The product of this inconsistency is that there are often interesting waterfalls that we just don’t advertise.

Inside the Bushkill Falls Park in the Delaware Water Gap region, there are many major falls.  Along Pond Run, there are a number of interesting falls.  One that hasn’t been named or advertised, though, is this specific waterfall.  I’m guessing that this is simply because trees block getting a very good view of the falls.  Now, I’m not for going and tearing trees down just to get a better view, and I’m not suggesting we should.  But why does this waterfall not get a better viewpoint.  I think it’s very intriguing to ask why this waterfall doesn’t even get recognition while others that were clearly smaller in the park did.

Directions:
1) You can access the Bushkill Falls park from US-209 in Pennsylvania.
2) From US-209, turn onto Bushkill Falls Road near the town of Bushkill.
3) From there, head down that road to the sign for the entrance to the park.
4) Park in the parking lot. The park opens at different times depending on the season, but it is best to arrive as early as possible. It is a very popular attraction.
5) From there, pay the $10 entrance fee, making sure to get a brochure with map. This unnamed waterfall is found above the Bridesmaid and Bridalveil Falls.

Accessibility: 8/10

Where in the World is Unnamed Pond Run Falls?: map

Bridalveil Falls, Pennsylvania

Bridalveil Falls in May 2009

I don’t have much to say about Bridalveil Falls except to reiterate what I’ve likely said before. Bridalveil Falls is found in the Bushkill Falls Park in the Delaware Water Gap region of Northeast Pennsylvania. There is a fee to enter the park, and there is a beautiful trail leading to beautiful views of ten or so waterfalls.

Bridalveil Falls is found in between the two Bridesmaid Falls (#1 and #2). I think it is taller than it appears in the picture. It’s a rather easy hike to the fails, and there are a number of stairs that lead you up and down the trail. While the sign mentions that the red trail can be strenuous, the overall hike is mild in comparison to some other hikes I’ve been on.

Directions:

  1. You can access the Bushkill Falls park from US-209 in Pennsylvania.
  2. From US-209, turn onto Bushkill Falls Road near the town of Bushkill.
  3. From there, head down that road to the sign for the entrance to the park.
  4. Park in the parking lot. The park opens at different times depending on the season, but it is best to arrive as early as possible. It is a very popular attraction.
  5. From there, pay the entrance fee, making sure to get a brochure with map. The map will help you get to Bridesmaid Falls and its wedding partners.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 28′
Length of Hike: 2 miles round-trip (to see all falls)

Where in the World is Bridalveil Falls?

Bridalveil (Niagara) Falls, New York

I’m going to talk individually about each of three falls that are collectively known as Niagara Falls: Horeshoe Falls, Bridalveil Falls, and American Falls. Horseshoe and American Falls are both found on the American side, though they may actually be better viewed from the Canadian side in Ontario.

Bridalveil Falls is the smallest of the falls, at least in terms of width. It’s about the same height as the other falls. The crest of the falls might only be about 10′ or so. Viewing from the American side, as I did, you can view the platform down below. You might also be able to better view the falls from that platform, though when we went there, it was something like $35 per person to go down to the platform. While Niagara Falls is extremely beautiful, it is also extremely commercialized.

Directions:
There are probably only a gazillion ways to get to the falls, so I am going to include this link that provides directions to the falls from multiple different directions.

If you want to view the falls from the Canadian side, and you are American, don’t forget that as of 2009, you need a passport, passport card, or an enhanced driver’s license.

Visit in July 2015: In July 2015, I had the chance to view the falls from the Canadian side, which in many ways is the better viewpoint. Bridalveil Falls tends to disappear when placed next to the other two falls, though.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: Depends on where you are…
Height: 181′

Bridalveil Falls in July 2006

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View from Canadian side

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View at night

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View from a cruise

Where in the World is Bridalveil Falls?