Bridal Veil Falls Trail

Bridal Veil Falls Trail

Starting Elevation7840 feet
Ending Elevation8900 feet
Elevation Change1060 feet

Bridal Veil Falls Trail at the end of the Cow Creek Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park strolls along old McGraw Ranch roads and former riding trails through grassy meadows and rolling hills around the base of Sheep Mtn until it ascends through a thick aspen grove up the rocky cleft where the fall drops creating a picturesque cascade.

Bridal Veil Trail Marker

Plenty of trails extend from Cow Creek.

This easy to moderate trail is a good hike for families and will only take a little over an hour or two depending on your speed. Only at the very end when stepping up rock does one need to take caution. Some of larger rock slabs can be icy and slippery in the non-summer months and you’ll need to take caution at those spots, but otherwise the trail is fairly easy. Be cautious and alert for lightning especially when crossing open areas during thunder storms as well.

McGraw Ranch House

The main ranch house from the old McGraw Ranch, now a research center.

History:

The trail head starts at the old McGraw Ranch. The main house and some other buildings date from the 1880s as part of the original ranch. John and Irene McGraw purchased the ranch in 1909. Many of the outer bunkhouses date from between 1836 and 1988 when it was run as a guest ranch. The government took it over in 1988 and converted into offices and residence quarters for biological researchers. The National Park Service was going to raze all buildings like they did at Grand Teton and Glacier National Parks but the National Trust for Historic Preservation saved McGraw from similar policies. So if any of you are pursuing careers in biology or forestry, and even history or related social sciences, you might want to look into research opportunities at this prime spot.

Nearby Trails: Other nearby trails in the park you may enjoy include: The North Boundary Trail, Gem Lake, Lawn Lake, Rabbit Ears, Black Canyon, Lumpy Ridge, Balanced Rock

Travel time: About 10 minutes from Estes Park, or 95 minutes from Denver.

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