Bridal Veil Falls via Cow Creek Trail

MODERATE 251 reviews
#16 of 185 trails in

Bridal Veil Falls via Cow Creek Trail is a 6.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
994 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

snow

no dogs

Located in the Lumpy Ridge area of Rocky Mountain National Park, this hike to a scenic waterfall is well graded and relatively easy. The trail is located 3.05 miles from the Cow Creek TH, and there is access to other nearby trails in the first portion of the hike, as well as to backcountry camp site The trail follows Cow Creek, where the first part is through open fields with evidence of elk. Eventually the trail heads into the woods, where it begins to climb in elevation. The falls is reached quickly, and a light scramble on the left side of the falls gives way to an impressive view of the valley behind you. There is limited parking at the TH, which is close to a research facility, so it's best to leave early to ensure a parking space.

14 days ago

Great easy to moderate hike. Make sure to go all the way to the top for the full experience.

hiking
15 days ago

We got to the trailhead at 8AM and were the first car there. As we started the hike we were greeted by a beautiful rainbow to complement the golden aspens. We encountered a grouse along the trail, a large trout in the pool beneath the smaller waterfall, and a confused squirrel who ran around my legs as he tried to find his way across the trail. I agree with the previous post that the last 1/4 mile is difficult, but finding the trail at the sloped rock was a bigger challenge. We followed a couple false leads before stumbling across the way to the main event. The Bridal Veil Falls was beautiful, even in October. I can only imagine it in the Spring. One last comment- doing this hike in the summer sun would be brutal.

18 days ago

Fun trail with beautiful fall colors. I'd rate it easy until the last 1/4 mile when you have to climb some steep areas and walk across steeply sloped rock. it can be hard to find the trail toward the end. There is a nice mini waterfall right before you get to the steep part.

hiking
22 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike! Easy end of moderate, the most challenging portion being near the terminus of the trail as you get close to the falls and are required to scramble over some large rocks and a somewhat slick slope of rock. Relatively light traffic (saw about 10-15 people over the course of coming and going), but we started our hike about noon on a Monday. We didn't see much wildlife, only a lone crow near the falls and an elk hoof print next to the stream. This hike had it all, open plain with view of the mountains and changing foliage and densely wooded areas with the sound of running water. The hike took about 4 hours with a good long stop at the falls and plenty of stopping for pictures.

walking
26 days ago

Highly recommend this as a first hike! Offers meadows, woods, and water all in one trip. Got to the lot about 745 on a Friday and there were a few spots left. When you get to the waterfall you can cross over and climb higher but it’s not for the faint of heart.

hiking
29 days ago

We did this hike on a Saturday about a week and a half ago. We got to the trailhead around 8:10am and there were plenty of parking spots still, but by the time we left (around 12 or so) there weren't any spots. There is no other place to park other than the pull off parallel spots on the side of the road near the trailhead since the areas surrounding this trail are private property, so I would recommend getting there early. My app said the trail was 6.71mi total, and it took us a little over 2.5 hours. There isn't too much uphill, so it's a nice and pleasant hike. We did see fresh looking bear poop on the trail, but didn't run into any issues. As many of the reviews below mention, once you get to the waterfall you can go over to the left side of it and easily climb up to the top. Well worth it as the views are beautiful, although I am a little biased because my fiancée proposed to me up there!

30 days ago

good hike maybe 12 parking spots, so get there early. The hike is mostly meadow until last 3/4 mile were you enter the woods the last 1000 feet is a scrambling between rocks. to get to the top, there is a small trail to the left. going up not bad coming down a little is little bit scary but worth it.

1 month ago

Beautiful day, Makes a great couples hike.

1 month ago

Simple views with beautiful fern fields/meadows. Would recommend as an hike for a day that you don't want to go up too much "up hill"

1 month ago

Beautiful moderate hike. Arrive early to park easily. There was a bear and her cub spotted while there. Waterfall is beautiful from below. if you can climb to the top of the falls it’s well worth it. Breathtaking view from above.

1 month ago

Hiked this morning starting at 7:45 and had zero issues with parking. Although, there isn't much parking available so I would recommend getting there early. We did see bear poop on the trail that was pretty fresh however we never saw the bear. But we did see a couple of Mule Deer and some wild turkeys. Since we got out on the trail early, we had the falls all to ourselves and didn't see another person until our way back. If you want to climb to the top of the falls, it is a bit of a scramble but just stay to the left and it's not bad at all!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, upper falls requires little scramble but worth the effort.

hiking
2 months ago

It was a great day with my husband. This was our first hike and it was fun. It was too bad for heat wise. It rained and it was beautiful.

2 months ago

Beautiful waterfalls, not much shade and very hot though. Saw a little black snake near the water.

2 months ago

absolutely one of my favorite hikes. love climbing up the waterfall to the top. not many people on the trail. great day!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a beautiful hike. There's not much shade in the first couple of miles, but the real enters dense forest within the last mile. The falls are nice, and for the sure-footed, it's worth climbing up past Bridal Veil Falls (on the left) to another set of cascades.

We saw a Dusky Grouse on the hike back, which was a nice treat.

Also nice is that the trail was not crowded.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike. Very peaceful. The flowers and small waterfall were gorgeous. Get there early as parking is very limited.

3 months ago

Great hike! Beautiful meadows, wildlife, and the falls at the end are worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

We enjoyed this trail. For the first 2 miles to the falls you are walking through beautiful meadows. I suggest doing this hike early if hiking during the summer months. The sun is brutal when you are in the meadows. There is little coverage or relief. The last mile up is challenging especially once you get closer to the falls. We are relative novices so those who hike a lot may find it easier. Pretty waterfall at the end is worth it. Limited parking so arrive early. We got there around 8:00 am and got the last spot. I would definitely put it on your list of hikes.

hiking
3 months ago

A good little hike through some meadows and woods. Took some nice photos of the surrounding countryside, as well as, the falls. Speaking of falls, the wet rocks are slippery...keep this in mind when angling for a better shot of the falls.

3 months ago

Great hike!!...nice waterfall!!

Lovely!

4 months ago

Quite an easy hike through open meadows filled with wildflowers until you hit the last mile, then it’s a little steeper & there are rocks to climb across to get to the falls. Overall a very scenic, pretty hike.

4 months ago

beautiful little hike with a payoff waterfall at the end

4 months ago

Waterfall at the end is worth it!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail. Starts with a view of meadows & wild flowers. Fairly moderate with some climbing in the end to get to the falls. Totally worth the effort.

hiking
5 months ago

we would give the trail itself a 3 but the bathrooms at the start of the trail were easily the nicest and cleanest we've ever seen. so close to a 4. we had high expectations for the hike from previous reviews but were a bit disappointed. the trail in and out was pretty but not spectacular. the last bit after the horse tie-ups was a bit of scrambling needing careful attention . poles were helpful. I wouldn't have felt great with any ice but others seem to have done ok before melt (all clear today.) the waterfall was splashy but small to us. other people on the trail were calling it spectacular so there's definitely taste differences. it was a long walk for an ok waterfall. I wouldn't repeat if we came back but others loved it.

6 months ago

Perfect time to go before the parking lots fill and the crowds roll in. The falls are still partly frozen but it is even more beautiful.

7 months ago

this was a lovely hike! I just wore my hiking boots and tried to be careful in areas where it looked icy!

hiking
7 months ago

It had snowed this morning so some of the trail was covered with maybe an inch. Watch out for those snow covered icy spots. Also, the last stretch to the falls is extremely icy! Watch your step and wear spikes!

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