A quick and easy nature walk up to Bridalveil Fall, a 617-foot year-round cascade that also happens to be one of the most popular spots in the park. Yosemite Valley is notoriously crowded – especially in the summer – so try to hit this spot early in the morning before you move on to other attractions or trails in the park.
- Distance: Under 0.5 miles
- Elevation Gain: Negligible
- Time: Less than 30 minutes
- Trail Condition: Excellent. This popular and well-traveled nature walk is along a paved path for almost the entire route.
- How To get There: From Yosemite Valley, head west on Northside Drive, turning left at Portal Road to stay in the Valley. The clearly marked trailhead will be on the south side of Southside Drive, just past the junction with Wawona Road.
- Very easy access to a spectacular waterfall
- Graded, paved path suitable for strollers
- Great views (and mists) from Bridalveil Falls
- Dogs welcome (on leash)
- on Flickr
Yosemite National Park is known for its waterfalls – and for good reason. The experience of being in the middle of an idyllic valley literally surrounded by waterfalls is really not like anything else in the world. Some of the falls are inaccessible to hikers, others are reachable only after long, hard slogs – and others, like Bridalveil, are approachable with a simple stroll.
First thing’s first – you’re on the Valley Floor. If it’s nice out, be prepared for crowds. Not only is this a popular spot for tour busses, but it’s also the first place people usually stop after coming into the Valley.
After you fight over a parking spot, this nature walk is an incredibly easy affair. It’s only 1000 feet to a wonderful vista point, and just 0.2 miles to a spot near Bridalveil Creek.
Because Bridalveil Fall kicks up so much mist, most of the rocks and pathways here will have a healthy amount of water on them. If you’re going to boulderhop along the creek or are walking this path during a cold morning, watch out for frost or ice along the way.
Otherwise, just enjoy the easy, pleasant walk to the viewpoint near the base of the falls’ mist trail. It’s a great spot to hit up on a hot Valley day, because you’re definitely going to get wet here.
When you’re done getting soaked, trek back to the parking lot to head to your next destination.
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