Photos of Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park

Bridalveil Falls is a classic example of a “hanging valley”. Two million years ago it was a stream flowing through a canyon that intersected Yosemite Valley. Over time glaciers carved away the intersection, leaving Bridalveil’s canyon “hanging” above the valley and turning the stream into falls that plunge 620 feet (200m). Wind often blows the falls back and forth, producing a wide swath of mist that cools visitors who take the short hike to the base of the falls. Native indians referred to Bridalveil Falls as Pohono (“blowing wind”) and considered it to be a superstitious place. Bridalveil Fall, with a large absorbant watershed, flows year round. However, spring is the time to visit Yosemite National Park if you are interested in waterfalls. We make at least one visit to Yosemite Valley each spring, usually in May or early June, to see the park’s falls at their peak flow and to enjoy crisp cool mornings, verdant forests, blooming dogwood trees, a hike up the Mist Trail and Sunday brunch at the Ahwahnee. Bridalveil Falls is the first major water fall visitors see when entering Yosemite Valley, first seen we one emerges from the tunnel entrance to the west end of the valley, as it forms one side of the Gates of the Valley, then a short drive later it is observed from the floor of Yosemite Valley. Bridalveil Falls is a short, level walk from the parking lot to the base of the falls, through shady trees. When the falls are pumping the forest around the base of the falls is dripping wet and side streams form to pull the overflow from the falls down to the Merced River a few hundred yards away. In late afternoon a rainbow often forms in the spray of Bridalveil Falls, rising as the sun sinks.

Bridalveil Falls at sunset, with clouds and blue sky in the background.  Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite drops 620 feet (188 m) from a hanging valley to the floor of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Bridalveil Falls at sunset, with clouds and blue sky in the background. Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite drops 620 feet (188 m) from a hanging valley to the floor of Yosemite Valley.
Image ID: 12646
Location: Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Bridalveil Falls with a rainbow forming in its spray, dropping 620 into Yosemite Valley, displaying peak water flow in spring months from deep snowpack and warm weather melt.  Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Bridalveil Falls with a rainbow forming in its spray, dropping 620 into Yosemite Valley, displaying peak water flow in spring months from deep snowpack and warm weather melt. Yosemite Valley.
Image ID: 16160
Location: Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Bridalveil Falls plummets 620 feet (200m).  Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Bridalveil Falls plummets 620 feet (200m). Yosemite Valley.
Image ID: 16077
Location: Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Bridalveil Falls plummets 620 feet (200m).  Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Bridalveil Falls plummets 620 feet (200m). Yosemite Valley.
Image ID: 16080
Location: Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

See some other waterfalls in Yosemite Valley: Yosemite Falls, Vernal Falls and Horsetail Falls.

Keywords: Bridalveil Falls, waterfall, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Valley, California, photo, picture, image, pho