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Bridal Veil Falls - Telluride, CO

no permit
254 8 1
Guide 8 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List CO > West
4.3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,025 feet
Elevation Gain 843 feet
Accumulated Gain 843 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 7.02
Interest Seasonal Waterfall
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
13  2018-07-21 Stoic
45  2014-06-01 outdoor_lover
91  2012-09-29
Colorado Fall Colours 2012
9  2012-08-15 CannondaleKid
70  2012-07-26
Colorado Tales 2012
26  2011-08-15 trailzrus
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Jun, Aug, Jul, Sep
Sun  5:58am - 6:10pm
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0 Alternative
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Named place Nearby
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    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Bridal Veil Falls - Telluride
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This Hike was on my Agenda from the Beginning...Not just because I love Water and Waterfalls, but also because I heard that there may be Mountain Goats up there.... :D I found it hard to believe that only 3 HAZers have done this Hike...Well, ok, maybe only one of them has actually HIKED it... :sweat:

    I got there around 2:30 P.M. after dinking around Camp and in Telluride for awhile. I knew I would like the Afternoon Light better anyway... :) I pretty much decided that I wasn't going to Drive the Road, as 1. It is Posted as a 4x4 so I didn't know what kind of Conditions to expect. 2. It was Late Spring with lots and lots of Water coming off the Mountains. 3. I need the Exercise anyway and even though it's Road Hiking, it's still a nice Jaunt with Stellar Views! My Decision not to try it with the Escape was an excellent Choice for ALL 3 Reasons! :sweat: I parked at the "Official" TH/Overlook Area next to some weird Green Pools that probably had something to do with the Mine. As I headed on up, I was glad right away I didn't drive it. The first 1/4 or so Mile was the Steepest and it was paved with Loose Rock...Even if I had managed to get a Bite with non-Optimal Street Tires, I would have been afraid that I would have thrown a Rock and punctured something underneath...And then you have a Creek running over the Road...It was a little interesting crossing on Foot as the Stepping Stone Rocks were pretty much under Water and the Creek was wider than the Stones were long...I finally just opted to get one Foot Wet and made it across...It was about Ankle Deep at that Point...After that stretch though, the Road was pretty good, and a few people drove up it. I do know of a couple of Guys that would regret that Decision later... :o

    Bridal Veil Falls may have been the Main Event, but there were Waterfalls coming off the Cliffs everywhere and the Creeks/Rivers were literally raging down the Slopes...It was supposed to be in the 70's for a few days and you could tell the Snow Melt was ON! The Camera worked Overtime on this one, but I know none of you will be surprised. :sweat:

    I had considered going farther than just to the Top of the Falls...there was another Set of Falls further up the Road, and I also considered going up the Trail further, to possibly Silver or Blue Lakes, but the Environment became a Factor...I ran into a Fisherman who was on his way down and he stated that he couldn't even make it to Silver Lake before he was Postholing through the Snow...So that was out...I got to the Switchback where the Gate was located by the Top of the Falls and the House, and realized that I wouldn't be going up any further on the Road either...Not without Crampons, an Ice Axe, Poles and Gators! I sat down and took a break and when I did, two Hikers WITH Crampons, Ice Axes, Poles and Gators showed up on the Road above me...It was interesting watching them come down that last, large Drift to where I was... :sweat: Apparently, they had started very very early and had Summited Ajax Peak which towered in the Distance over us...There was still a lot of Snow up there... :sweat: Even one of them stated that although they made the Peak, "it wasn't quite ready yet, and it was a long day" :sweat:

    After my Break, I went through the Gate and checked out the House and the Top of the Falls...I decided not to continue any further as I had to Hike through some Slush just in the short Distance from the Gate to the House and I knew it would only get worse further up...So I turned around at that Point. As I Hiked down, I made a little Side Trip to check out a Mine that was up there and upon returning to the Road, there was a Truck Parked there with some Climbers getting ready to go...It's about 5:00 now and I've noticed that the Water Levels in the Creeks coming off the Mountains was rising some and more Waterfalls were magically appearing...The Climbers were getting ready to do The Telluride Via Ferrata...You're not Climbing Up...You're Clipped to a Cable and you're Traversing a Ledge that at times is no wider than one of your Feet... :sweat: I asked them how they Traversed through the Waterfalls that were presently pouring off up there, and they stated that "you just find a way"... :o I will tag their Route for you on one of my Photos...It's pretty Interesting... :sweat:

    I continued on down, and when I got to the Creek Crossing again, the Water was now up to over the Knees. Double glad that I didn't drive my Vehicle, did I say that already??? And I would be triple glad before I was done...:sweat: In the time that I was up there, someone had brought a Plank and rigged the Crossing so you could walk across a tad bit upstream... Apparently, that was not all that was done since I had gone up... :o I get a little further down and start finding Rocks in the Road that weren't there when I went up and then a giant Excavated Hole with a Water Line at the bottom that looked to be newly Repaired. They had actually constructed a little Trail through the Trench, so you had to go in the Trench and out the other side to continue. And then, not only were there Rocks on the Road, there were Boulders...and to top it off, there was also a small River running down the Road...None of this was here when I went up...Mother Nature had been very busy in the last few hours... :sweat: I felt bad for the Climbers...They were not going to get their Truck back down on this Day, the Road was now impassable by Vehicle... ;)

    Got back down to my Vehicle and headed on out. Although I had hoped for some Mountain Goats up there, there were none to be found, but I enjoyed another Photoshoot with some Elk again as I left Town...Probably the same Herd as the day before, just in a different Meadow... :)

    Great little Hike! I could do this one every time I'm there! The Scenery is just gorgeous and there are some pretty cool Destinations beyond the Falls that I would really like to see as well...I would definitely recommend this one if you haven't done it!

    Just a Post Note...before you hit the Base of the Falls, there looked to be a Platform with Steps that you could go up, but it was Barricaded Off with a No Entry Sign...Not sure if this is something Seasonal or if that probable Viewing Platform is Closed Permanently....
    Bridal Veil Falls - Telluride
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Colorado Fall Colours 2012
    Colorado Fall Colours 2012

    I'm in the habit of booking a quarterly "wilderness adventure" months in advance so I can work my schedule around the dates. After having my first Colorado Adventure into the San Juan Mountains this past summer (check out :next: ), I snapped up the offer from one of my Phoenix Coyotes' season ticket partners to use his Colorado Cottage during the height of fall colours. With a 5-day weekend booked the end of September/beginning of October, I began researching primo fall colour photo ops weeks in advance (check out :next: viewtopic.php?t=7211 ) narrowing down to 5 selected shots from various pro's and trying to figure out the exact location they captured their image.

    Image #1 "Highway and Farm near Telluride" by Shane McDermott (check out :next: ... 2&lb=1&s=A ). Thanks to a tip from the photographer, I was able to confirm location on Airport Road (aka Last Dollar Road) near Telluride and enter GPS coordinates into Google Maps (N 37.952726, W -107.877846). My "interpretation" certainly doesn't do Shane McDermott's wonderful image any justice (check out :next: ), but I had fun doing the detective work trying to figure out the location (thanks also to Jake for the Google Maps tip!).

    Image #2 "Hay Rolls near Sneffels Range" by Derek von Briesen (check out :next: ). Thanks to a tip from HippyPunkPirate (aka Jake) and others, it turns out that this is an iconic view taken from the Double R L Ranch along Highway 62 near Ridgway. It took a Colorado resident to clue me in that Double R L Ranch, as in Ralph R. Lauren's ranch, is known to everyone in the Ridgeway/Telluride area. Take County Road 9 off of Highway 62 and spot the field near GPS coordinates I entered into Google Maps (N 38.118892, W -107.829008). My "interpretation" certainly doesn't do Derek von Brieson's stellar image any justice (check out :next: ), but once again I had fun doing the detective work trying to figure out the location (thanks Jake for the Google tip - Google RRL Ranch images and see what you get...).

    Image #3 "Aspen Stand and Fence near Sneffels Range" by Jason Hatfield (check out :next: ). Hats off to Jason and his most informative eBook "A Photographer's Guide to Colorado's Fall Colors - the Best Locations & How to Photograph Them" (check out :next: ), 14 locations are in the San Juan Mountains! Take County Road 7 off of Highway 62 and spot the open field near GPS coordinates I entered into Google Maps (N 38deg 2' 58.42", W 107deg 48' 31.01"). My "interpretation" certainly doesn't do Jason Hatfield's awesome image any justice (check out :next: ), but once again I had fun doing the detective work trying to figure out the location (thanks Jason for sharing your inside information - highly recommend if you are heading into the San Juan's to pick up Jason's bargain priced eBook :next: ).

    Image #4 "Dallas Divide in the Sneffels Range" by Darren Kilgore (check out :next: ... large.html ). I found the "Dallas Divide" on the map and noted a Scenic View turnout along Highway 62 between Telluride and Ridgway. Taking a leap of faith, I entered GPS coordinates into Google Maps (N 37.952726_tbd, W -107.877846_tbd) and hoped for the best. Although my "interpretation" certainly doesn't do Darren Kilgore's splendid image any justice (check out :next: ), I had fun exchanging thoughts with about 20 other photographers jamming the turnout along Highway 62 trying to capture an image in the waning afternoon light.

    Image #5 "Wilson Mesa Property for Sale - $12,995,000" by unknown realtor (advertisement had photo of San Miguel Mountains reflecting off lake surrounded by flaming yellow aspens - unfortunately no internet link). Armed only with a real estate ad from a Telluride Homes magazine I picked up at a Telluride gas station during my July 2012 visit, I looked for various clues in the photo and the map and could only conclude that this had to be Woods Lake on Wilson Mesa. Taking another leap of faith, I entered GPS coordinates into Google Maps (N 37.952726_tbd, W -107.877846_tbd) and marked a route along Fall Creek Road that seemed to connect to Woods Lake. Although my "interpretation" doesn't justify the real estate asking price (check out :next: ), I had fun meeting a photographer from Maryland (sorry, forgot your name!) also trying to capture the perfect reflection off the lake.

    DAY #1 - Saturday 9/29 After a Friday airplane commute to and from our Diabetes division in Northridge CA, I headed on the road early Saturday to start a 5-day weekend with Lynn and the dogs at the Danzl Cottage along the Dolores River between Dolores CO and Telluride CO. Lynn packed everything we needed except some choice Colorado brews. Stopping at the Dolores Liquor Store, I picked up a 6 pack of Dark Lager by Durango Brewing Company (Durango CO) and 90 Shilling Ale by O'Dell Brewing Company (Fort Collins CO). I thought it was strange that none of the Dolores Brewery or Telluride Brewery beers were available here. Arriving at the Danzl Cottage with about an hour of daylight, I got the well pump primed and the hot water tank filled (while evacuating all the airlocks) and the electric heats plugged in and fired-up (low of 29degF forecast for tonight). With the cottage up and running, time to focus on tonight's BBQ dinner - burgs and dogs...

    DAY #2 - Sunday 9/30 After rustling up breakfast of maple sausages and eggs on the BBQ, we loaded up the F-150 and headed along Hwy 145 and the Dolores River Valley towards Telluride. There were multiple stops along the way taking in the riot of colour. Hard to judge if we missed the peak, some trees were bare, some were still green, others where ablaze in yellows and golds. Arriving in Telluride, we headed up Airport Road to find "Image #1" location to re-create Shane McDermott's "Highway and Farm near Telluride". As we rounded the first bend to the north, it was found! Near the Telluride Airport, the road becomes Last Dollar Road (IMO - a fall colour "must" route). We found a roadside clearing onto a bench outcrop that made for a perfect lunch location - mountain views, fall colours, perfect temperatures! After a Tibber-mode flurry of photo stops, we popped out onto Hwy 62 and headed east towards County Road #9 and the Double RL Ranch. Hay rolling was in progress, but not in the field captured by Derek von Briesen in "Image #2". I did find another field with the hay rolls in situ to create my own composition. Next on the list was County Road #7 to recreate "Image #3" by Jason Hatfield. CO#7 has a number of choice locations noted in Jason Hatfield's eBook and I think I found them all. With the sun beginning to set, we left CO#7 and headed back to Telluride (also discovering the Dallas Divide scenic viewpoint on Hwy 62 and recreating "Image #4"). With an alpenglow on the peaks, had enough light to show Lynn Bridal Veil Falls and downtown Telluride. It must have been 10pm when we got back to the Danzl Cottage and fired up the BBQ for our evening meal in the glow of the full moon. There was a strange banshee screaming at the moon - a bobcat in heat?
    Hike of the Day :next: Dolores River Trail (actually an abandoned bridge and section of old Hwy 145 near Rico CO) ~5 miles.

    DAY #3 - Monday 10/1 Perfect weather in the forecast again as we headed to Durango and up the Million Dollar Highway to Silverton. Animas Forks Ghost Town was the objective of the day - thwarted by a misplaced boulder hitting my skid plate and damaging an airflow/sound barrier plate. Unable to do a field repair, we heading back to Silverton to the lone garage mechanic for miles around. We removed the off-road customized airflow/sound barrier plate and were on our way. Adjusting our plans, we headed north on Hwy 555 towards Mineral Creek and Kendal Camp Ground for lunch. Next up, the Red Mountain Mining Area followed by Ouray, Ridgeway, and another stop at the Dallas Divide (another "Image #4" recreation attempt). Our adjusted plans allowed us to tour Fall Creek Road and the Wilson Mesa area in search of Woods Lake. To my great surprise, there was ample signage to Woods Lake where I made numerous attempts at recreating "Image #5". With all 5 of my "pre-work" images now in the bag (or on the FLASH card), it was time to drive back to Danzl Cottage and a choice steak waiting to be BBQ'd...
    Hike of the Day :next: Woods Lake Campground Trail ~5 miles. Check out :next: ... Campground

    DAY #4 - Tuesday 10/2 Today's agenda includes CR38/Township Route 535 (aka Dunton Road - IMO another Fall colour "must" route) and the Lizard Head Wilderness area. With multiple photo ops along the route, we decided to take a lunch break on top of Stoner Mesa via CR-M/FR875 (aka Stoner Mesa Road). I found a meadow/camp area on the top of Stoner Mesa surrounded by aspen stands on every side where we broke out the tailgating chairs and had lunch. IMO - Stoner Mesa Road had the BEST Fall colours of any route we had been on during our 5-day weekend. We had time to hike a few miles towards Navajo Lake from the Kilpacker TH and The Meadows. Great views of the San Miguel Mountains and the Lizard Head Wilderness area!
    Hike of the Day :next: Kilpacker Trail ~5 miles (intersects with Navajo Lake Trail ). Check out :next: ... trail.html

    DAY #5 - Wednesday 10/3 Getaway Day - back home to the Valley heat in Ahwatukee. Quite the contrast being treated to 5 days of 72degF Hi and 29degF Lo in the Colorado San Juan Mountains...

    MUCHO GRACIAS to the Danzl Family for the use of their Colorado Cottage on the Dolores River
    Many elk, deer, mountain goats, beaver, and bald eagles
    No TV, internet, or cell phone reception
    1 tank of gas from Phoenix to Colorado
    5-days in the San Juan Mountains
    420 images on 2 cameras
    Spectacular fall colours
    Perfect weather
    Bridal Veil Falls - Telluride
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Due to the slow going through Telluride we decided to skip the hike and just drive up to Bridal Veil Falls for some photos. Afterward we high-tailed it back to our rented cabin outside of Ridgway for a relaxing evening.

    Only 9 photos so I posted all on HAZ as well as my web site here:
    Bridal Veil Falls - Telluride
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Colorado Tales 2012
    Colorado Tales 2012

    5 days
    1296 miles
    65 gallons of gasoline
    379 digital images
    1 relatively trouble-free drive
    Clean, crisp mountain air
    Vintage railways
    Ghost towns
    Choice eats and beverages (Colorado microbreweries!)
    No work distractions

    The Plan => Thursday 7/26 rendezvous at the Danzl residence in Sedona AZ, truck pool, and hit the road to the Danzl Colorado Cottage along the Dolores River between Dolores CO and Stoner CO in the San Juan Mountains.

    My 2012 quarterly wilderness adventures have been limited to "Anza Borrego California Tales 2012" (check out => ) and "Oregon Tales 2012" (check out => ), so with X consecutive days of 100degF Valley weather, a trek to the high country seemed in order. The Colorado Rockies would certainly satisfy that requirement, so my Coyotes' season ticket co-holder, Ralph Danzl suggested his Colorado Cottage as a base camp to escape the heat. With no definitive plans, other than our base camp, we hit the road and ended up at the following destinations;

    A. Ahwatukee AZ - ground zero, home
    B. Sedona AZ - rendezvous at Danzl's Bell Rock Blvd. residence
    C. Kayenta AZ - stop at the local Burger King
    D. Monument Valley AZ/UT - first visit for the Danzl's (check out => and ... e-map.html )
    E. Bluff UT - stop for gas
    F. Hovenweep Ruins UT - also "Canyon of the Ancients" including Painted Hand and Lowry Pueblo (check out => )
    G. Dolores CO - base camp at Danzl Colorado Cottage off Hwy 145 on Road 37 (CR36 on map)
    H. Ophir Pass CO - off-roading with side treks to Crystal Lake and Lookout Peak (check out => )
    I. Silverton CO - Silverton Brewery for eats (check out => )
    J. Animas Forks CO - off-roading to ghost town (check out => ... as%20Forks and )
    K. Durango CO - a drive on the "Million Dollar Highway" (check out => )
    L. Dolores CO - Dolores River Brewery for eats (check out => ) and base camp at Danzl Colorado Cottage
    M. Dunton CO - along FR535 and West Dolores River valley trekking to Lizard Head Wilderness (check out => ... wilderness )
    N. Telluride CO - Smuggler Joe's MicroBrew for eats (check out => ... mmary.aspx and )
    O. Rico CO - ghost town (check out => )
    P. Taylor Mesa CO - wildlife spotting along FR545
    Q. Dolores CO - supplies and Galloping Goose Museum (check out => ) plus base camp at Danzl Colorado Cottage
    R. Mesa Verde CO - for future reference (check out => )
    S. Tuba City AZ - pit stop on the road home
    T. Sedona AZ - collect my wheels at the Danzl residence
    U. Ahwatukee AZ - home again...

    DAY 1 - Thursday 7/26
    Ahwatukee AZ to Sedona AZ
    129 miles
    2 hrs 19 min 1-way per Google Maps

    Rendezvous at the Danzl residence off Bell Rock Blvd and hit the road early morning for the Colorado mountains....

    DAY 2 - Friday 7/27
    Sedona AZ to Dolores CO via Monument Valley and Hovenweep Ruins
    341 miles
    7 hrs 17 min per Google Maps

    On the road to Danzl's Colorado Cottage along the Dolores River between Dolores CO and Stoner CO with stops at Monument Valley and Hovenweep Ruins. Exited Monument Valley just as a deluge hit. With a side trip into uncharted territory (that would be Hovenweep UT, check out => ), we discover "Canyon of the Ancients" and signage for some vaguely familiar ruins (Cutthroat Castle, Painted Hand Pueblo, Lowry Pueblo, etc). I'm filing this for a future trek (check out => ... rMap-2.pdf and ). Our plans to pick up supplies in Dolores CO are thwarted by the time zone change as we arrive into town at 8pm local time only to discover all the grocery stores closed! Good thing we have some ground beef in the cooler and we're able to pick-up some buns at the local gas station. We arrive at the Danzl Cottage in a light rain. Ralph gets the water turned on while Brian and I get the old-school BBQ fired up with briquettes and mesquite chips. Burgs and beverages to put a bookend on the day...

    DAY 3 - Saturday 7/28
    Dolores CO to Ophir Pass to Animas Forks and Durango CO return
    188 miles
    5 hrs 21 min per Google Maps

    Into the really high country with side treks to Crystal Lake and Lookout Peak near the crest of Ophir Pass. On to Silverton where we caught the narrow gauge railroad (check out => ) waiting to take on passengers. 4WD trekking up to Animas Forks checking out all the mining relics and ghost towns along the way. I regret not climbing up to higher vantage to snap an image of the entire Animas Forks ghost town complex - next time! Refreshments at the Silverton Brewery and off along the Million Dollar Highway to Durango CO. In Durango, we pick up steaks, fresh picked corn-on-the-cob, mushrooms, onions, etc. for an evening feast back at Danzl Cottage. Interesting light show back at the cottage as a summer monsoon rumbles through the Dolores Valley...

    DAY 4 - Sunday 7/29
    Dolores CO to Lizard Head Wilderness to Telluride CO to Taylor Mesa return
    153 miles
    4 hrs 53 min per Google Maps

    More high country trekking checking out beaver dams along FR535 and the West Dolores River plus a leg stretcher into the Lizard Head Wilderness. Refreshments at Telluride Brewing Company and Smuggler Joes' Brew Pub in Telluride. Up to the Bridal Falls overlook and on the road towards Rico ghost town and primo wildlife spotting on Taylor Mesa. Plenty of elk and deer spotted. No bears - disappointment since Ralph indicated he's seen bear here every time he's visited. Back at Danzl Cottage for another summer monsoon light show and time to fire up the BBQ for some choice tube steaks...

    DAY 5 - Monday 7/30
    Dolores CO to Mesa Verde CO to Tuba City AZ to Sedona AZ to Ahwatukee AZ
    461 miles
    8 hrs, 21 min per Google Maps

    A chance to check out the Galloping Goose and Dolores River Brewing Company before hitting road for home. Conversation along the road included setting a time for a return visit with fall colours being the choice excuse. Maybe a last week in September, first week in October future trek (check out => ) may be in the cards...

    And that's my Colorado Tale 2012!

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