As the tallest free falling waterfall in Colorado, Bridal Veil Falls is a top draw for San Juan Mountain visitors.
Whether you’re an avid hiker looking to conquer the intense incline or a family of four seeking a fast and convenient way to view the falls—we’ve got you covered.
Check out this quick and easy guide to Bridal Veil Falls!
Where is Bridal Veil Falls?
Bridal Veil Falls are located in the Uncompahgre National Forest, just a few miles outside of the town of Telluride, Colorado.
How Tall is Bridal Veil Falls?
Bridal Veil Falls are 365 feet in length from the bottom of the falls to the top of the falls. It is currently the tallest free-falling waterfall in the entire state of Colorado.
How long does it take to get to Bridal Veil Falls?
Many are pleased to learn that getting to the top of Bridal Veil Falls can be a relatively quick trip. The drive to the falls takes less than 20 minutes! If hiking or biking, expect to take 1.5 – 2 hours to reach the top of the falls.
How do I get to Bridal Veil Falls?
Visitors have a few options for getting to these majestic falls:
If you’re up for the trek, hiking or biking the 4.8-mile trail is well worth the effort. The trail starts in downtown Telluride and weaves up the mountain. Hikers will experience a moderate 1,368-foot elevation gain with some tricky switchbacks, and the hiking trail is best suited for adventurers with some experience; the trail is rated “moderate” difficulty. Alternatively, you could drive a portion of the trail, park (there are several parking areas along the trail), and hike or bike the remaining miles. The trail is dog-friendly, though pets should remain on a leash at all times.
For visitors not up for the hike, or for families with children, driving to the falls is a quicker, more convenient alternative. From downtown Telluride, head east on West Colorado Avenue towards South Fir Street. West Colorado Avenue turns slightly right and becomes Forest Service Road 648. You will pass Pandora Mill on your left. Continue straight onto Black Bear Pass Summit. You should be at the falls in under 20 minutes, pending traffic and weather conditions. Do note there will still be a short walk to view the falls. The dirt road can be a little treacherous, so an off-road, four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.
If you’re not up for the hike, Colorado 145 offers guided shuttles to the falls. The tours, offered several times a day, take place in decked-out Jeep Gladiators. Depending on where you’re leaving from (Telluride or Mountain Village), the total trip averages 90 minutes to 2 hours. An experienced guide will drive up the mountain and provide a fun and entertaining narration on the way to the top of the falls. Waterfall shuttles start at $40 per person for the entire trip.
No matter how you get there, be advised that this is a heavily trafficked out and back trail, so be on the watch for fellow nature enthusiasts. Go slow, and be mindful of your surroundings at all times.
When is the best time to visit Bridal Veil Falls?
May through October is the best time to see the falls. The road conditions are safe for navigation and the trails will be clear for a safe trek. The falls are also prone to freezing in the middle of winter (which could be a draw for ice climbers!), though they are back in action by the spring through the fall.
What is there to see at Bridal Veil Falls?
Of course, the waterfall is the main draw of the scenic trip—though there’s plenty else to see along the way. Wildflowers run rampant in the summer and the mountain is in full bloom with native, seasonal flora. The plants are a beautiful contrast to the colorful eroded canyon walls that surround certain stretches of the trail.
The mountain is also home to hundreds of species with you’ll see plenty of nature along the way—whether you hike, bike, or drive. Expect to see birds, beavers, fish, and maybe even a curious deer or two along the route. Other species (like bears) tend to stay away from the busy trails—so don’t worry about being in danger.
At the top of the falls, you’ll have picturesque views of the sweeping Bridal Veil Canyon, Blue Lake, and the historic power plant.
There you have it—a complete guide to visiting Bridal Veil Falls in Telluride.