Do you have a thing for waterfalls? If you’ve read my memoir, you know that my favorite hikes embrace “many waters and signs of water.” Bridal Veil Falls fits that description, and it’s as romantic a sight as the name promises. It’s more like many veils, trailing one into another. My husband and I enjoyed a picnic there last September. It was really just lunch pulled out of our backpacks, but the setting made it a picnic, a glorious feast for the eyes and ears. We needed real grub for our mouths, too – the hike is relatively easy, but it is six miles round-trip.
Bridal Veil Falls is just outside Estes Park in northeast Rocky Mountain National Park. Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay a fee. From Estes Park, head north on Devils Gulch Road for four miles, then bear left on McGraw Ranch Road for 2.1 miles to the Cow Creek Trailhead. I suggest going early, because parking is very limited and fills early. Take the Cow Creek Trail, which starts as a gravel road through the ranch’s research facility, empties into a meadow, then narrows into a single track that loosely follows the creek. Most of the hike is low and rolling, leading to a steep uphill push to the falls. When you think you’ve reached the falls, don’t stop – that’s only the beginning, as you’ll see in this video: