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Bridal Veil Falls - Telluride, CO

Guide 9 Triplogs  1 Topic
  4.5 of 5 
CO > West
no permit
281 9 1
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Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,025 feet
Elevation Gain 840 feet
Accumulated Gain 840 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.2
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
27  2021-05-17 kingsnake
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 kingsnake
author avatar Guides 95
Routes 223
Photos 9,023
Trips 712 map ( 6,511 miles )
Age 59 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Jun, Aug, May → 7 AM
Sun  5:08am - 7:27pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Try this in a barrell!
by kingsnake

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Bridal Veil Falls is two miles southeast of Telluride, at the head of a box canyon that has no name as far as I can determine. Bridal Veil Creek flows north from Lewis Lake, through Bridal Veil Basin, to the northwest face of Ingram Peak, where it tumbles over a cliff into the canyon below. Ingram Creek, flowing northwest from Ingram Basin, flows over the same cliff, a ½ mile away, forming Ingram Falls. About ¾ of a mile west of their respective falls, Bridal Veil Creek and Ingram Creek join to form the San Miguel River.

At 365 ft., Bridal Veil Falls is the tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado. (Meaning, it has the longest single drop at an angle more than 80% vertical.) The Smuggler-Union Hydroelectric Power Plant, a white frame building atop Bridal Veil Falls, typically provides 350 kW of power to Telluride.

Black Bear Pass Rd. (County Road K69), a continuation of Colorado Ave., the main road through Telluride, switchbacks up the head of the canyon between Bridal Veil Falls and Ingram Falls. Only high clearance 4x4s should proceed past the Bridal Veil Falls Trailhead. It is legal to drive as far as the top of Bridal Veil Falls, but after that, traffic is one-way only, down the canyon. (The portion of Black Bear Pass Rd. infamous as the most dangerous jeep trail in Colorado.)

Before 2020, the only approved route to Bridal Veil Falls was up Black Bear Pass Rd. In May 2020, Bridal Veil Trail — an actual hiking trail — was opened. Mountain bikes are not allowed on the hiking trail; probably not horses due to tight squeezes between boulders. Both horses and MTBs should use Black Bear Pass Rd. to access the falls.


There are several options to hike Bridal Veil Falls:

1) Black Bear Pass Rd. only. A similar distance and elevation profile to Shaw Butte in Phoenix, climbing 840 ft. in 1.5 miles. The original official Haz route along FR 648 is no longer legal. Stay on Black Bear Pass Rd. the whole way. It's rocky, but not ankle breakers. There may be erosion or landslides across it. The hiking advantage of Black Bear Pass Rd. is views of the Telluride Via Ferrata and Ingram Falls and better photographic angles on Bridal Veil Falls.

2) Bridal Veil Trail only. Climbs 840 ft. in 1.0 miles. The Ingram Creek crossing may be an issue. Mind your footing with roots and stepping between rocks. Advantages include side falls, shade, fewer people, and no mountain bikes.

3) Black Bear Pass Rd. to Ingram Spur Trail -- to bypass the "dangerous" Ingram Creek crossing -- then Bridal Veil Trail. $30,000 has been allocated to build a 47 ft. suspension bridge across Ingram Creek, but work has not yet begun as of May 2021.

4) A loop, either direction, of Black Bear Pass Rd. and Bridal Veil Trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2021-05-25 kingsnake

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From the CO-145 traffic circle at the west end of Telluride, simply drive east on Colorado Ave., all the way through town, past the tailings ponds, and the Pandora Mill, to the trailhead. CR K69 (Black Bear Pass Rd.) continues up & left. If you have a high clearance 4×4, you may legally drive as far as the top of Bridal Veil Falls, 2.4 miles past the trailhead. After that, it is one-way traffic, downhill only.
    page created by joebartels on May 25 2021 10:28 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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