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Bridal Veil Falls Via Lumpy Ridge Trails is a 12.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking.

Length 12.5 mi Elevation gain 2,988 ft Route type Loop

Backpacking

Hiking

Forest

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

Reservations to enter the park will go on sale through Recreation.gov at 8 a.m. Mountain Time on Thursday, May 28. Reservations will be available to enter the park from June 4 through July 31. The next release will be on July 1, for the month of August and any remaining days that have not been booked for July. On August 1, reservations will be available for the month of September and any remaining days that have not been booked for August. On September 1, reservations will be available for the month of October and any remaining days in September that have not been booked. Permits issued using the reservation system will allow park visitors to enter the park within two-hour windows of availability between 6 a.m. through 5 p.m. This process will facilitate advance payment of entrance fees, minimize contact between park entrance station staff and visitors and limit congestion in parking lots. The permit system will apply to all areas of the park. In the initial opening phase, the park will open approximately 60 percent of the park’s maximum parking capacity or 4,800 vehicles (13,500 visitors) per day. This hike offers a lot of different terrain and views. You see mountain views, Gem lake, a waterfall and some even feels desert(ish). Note: The end of the loop is through private property with some cows and horses but still easily marked. Bring adequate food, water, sunscreen and be prepared for inclement/changing weather. As always enjoy the adventure through the mountains!

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (161)
Photos (2139)
Recordings (116)
Completed (333)
Nick Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 29 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Went counterclockwise on a backpacking trip to mcgregor mountain. Found the trail well maintained and easy to follow. The lake was cute. The last .5 mile to the waterfall is strenuous and not as easy to follow. The last stretch up the mountain was a bit brutal. We clocked 11.8 the first day going to mcgregor mountain campsite and then 5 the second day to get out. The second day was a steep decline followed by a pretty walk through a private meadow. Saw a few wild turkeys. Great weather. Not very crowded at all.

Justin Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 21 2020
Hiking

The trail is nice ,we were trying to do the full loop. They could do a lot better job marking the trail. So you know you are on the trail

Kayla Morrill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 20 2020
Hiking

We hiked this loop yesterday and did it counterclockwise. We enjoyed breakfast at Gem Lake. It is up a lot initially but isn't too bad to start out with fresh legs. You then weave down and around the backside and meet up with the Cow Creek trailhead. On the way to Bridal Veil Falls, it is straight up but very doable and the most beautiful part of the trail. When you get close to the falls, the trail is hard to spot across the rocks but just look closely and you can find it. We got back on the main trail and stopped for lunch in our hammocks. You then have to head straight up to get around the mountain. That was the hardest part of the trail for us as we aren't used to having such an elevation gain on the second part of the trail. The trail is not hard to find though. When you come around the mountain, it will be mostly downhill (great views of Long's Peak). You will hit a meadow which will be kind of lengthy (part of it is on private property), not much to look at and will be very hot in the afternoon this summer. It took us about 8 hours total and we measured about 15 miles.

Jacquelyn H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 26 2020
Hiking

Wish I would have done an O&B of the east side. I went counter clockwise and enjoyed the first half much more. I'd estimate about 15% dry, 50% packed snow, and 35% mushy snow (mostly on the western half). Completed in spikes but poles would have helped with speed through the less packed parts.

Andrew Parsons
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 09 2019
HikingIcyRocky
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Kurtis Grover
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 26 2019
Hiking

Tough but enjoyable.

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Tes Gebremeskel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 30 2019
Hiking

One of my favorite hikes for the end of September, but I wish I delayed my hike until next weekend. Only about 40% of the aspen have full fall color change. Would be perfect in 4-7 days.

Zach W.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Sep 18 2019
HikingPrivate property

Overall, great trail. I ended up adding-on the "Balanced Rock Trail" without too much added time (and then also Bridal Veil). If you have to choose one or the other, I'd stick w/ Bridal. I ended up taking the trail counter-clock wise due to the steep incline of the east side of the loop (which I assume I would've rolled an ankle coming down considering I'd end the loop on that side.) Lastly, part of the trail goes through private property (and it is clearly marked as such) but cognizant of the horse droppings scattered along the trail.

Jacob Kudeviz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Sep 06 2019
HikingPrivate property

Just came back from an over-nighter with a friend going counter-clockwise. The last reliable source of water we found was at the rabbit ears campsite, right before the bridal veil falls turn off. The other creeks this trail crosses after the falls turnoff were dry.

Julian Dunham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Aug 22 2019
Hiking

I walked this trail clock-wise yesterday. The first hour along the Black Canyon trail was undulating hills with farmland to the left and climbing (e.g The Book) to the right. The second hour was a steep climb and as I live at sea level I was panting heavily and my heart rate was 140-150. After that was a reasonably comfortable descent down the Dark Mountain Trail toward the Cow Creek Trail and the turn off toward Bridal Veil falls. This is a very pleasant walk along Cow Creek but the day did get quite warm and I found myself drinking a lot more than I expected. As other reviewers have warned; take 3L per person minimum. Once I reached Bridal Veil falls (roughy 10:30) I scrambled up to the top of the falls and ate an early lunch. I was tempted to find a way to the top of the overhanging rock but couldn’t find a safe path. I’m sure there is one if you take time to look. The walk back down the creek is beautiful and a nice respite before the ascent up the Gem Lake trail. Despite the heat and my tiredness, I couldn’t resist the walk into Balanced Rock. With the help of a water refill from some very generous Swedes (Tak) I got to see one of the freakiest things I’ve ever seen in nature. Maybe we have been visited by aliens. The final ascent to Gem Lake is tough after 5 hours of hot, high altitude walking but the lake and its surroundings is something else. For some reason it reminds me of the Westley/Inigo dual scene in the Princess Bride. The final descent back to the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead is hard on tired legs but offers sensational views of Estes Park. I’m a reasonably fit and experienced walker and I really enjoyed this hike. It was just under 27km (17miles) and took me 6 hours 45 minutes including a 30 minute lunch break. Remember, takes lots of water and maybe even pre-hydrate.

Riley Ambrose
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Aug 19 2019
HikingPrivate property

This is a wonderful trail. I would recommend counterclockwise as the other way would be a steep elevation gain very quickly. The fields and flowers were amazing. The water fall was cool. the trail covers different terrains and provides and excellent workout. There are no huge peaks for great views. However, it is a wonderful experience in nature.

Matt Christopher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jul 31 2019
Hiking

This trail, was SUPER long! As a beginning hiker I loved every minute of it. The falls are beautiful and definitely worth the extra 2 miles to the trip. I would advise doing the trip counterclockwise as the last leg would have been extremely fatiguing. Bring some snacks and enjoy them by the waterfall! Would absolutely do again.

Andrew Parsons
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 29 2019
Hiking

Beautiful! Took hike clockwise. Would recommend counter clockwise if you really want a hill workout ! However, the clockwise route was quite uphill on the second half. Waterfall was gorgeous and def worth the 2 mile addition :) wildflowers in full bloom!!! Not lots of shade at the end so get ready to sweat. Gem lake is stunning. Took 4.5 hours and was actually 14.2 miles.

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Matthew Bell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 29 2019
HikingPrivate property

A beautifully varied trail with plenty of meadows and shaded hiking around the Lumpy Ridge. It is a long trail (lasting 5.5 hrs at solid pace without the bridal veil stop), with 2 moderately steep inclines (gaining 800-1000 ft) lasting roughly a mile or less. Bring plenty of sunscreen and water for the stretches of sunshine, and be prepared for the crowds at gem lake in the afternoon. I found it best to leave gem lake for last, but it’s possible to go either way around the loop. Cheers, and happy hiking!

Hayden Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 28 2019
HikingRocky

The hike overall was fantastic. We set out at 7:40a from Lumpy Ridge TH and got back to the trailhead at 6pm. This is an all day hike if you plan on stopping to see the views, visit balanced rock, hike up to bridal veil falls, and make the full loop back around to he trailhead. We spent a full hour at the falls to recharge and eat lunch, but the second half of the hike is no joke. The meadow on the backside of the mountain is beautiful, but very exposed and hot - pretty much sucks the life out of you. We were very prepared with tons of water and gear, but the hike was strenuous in the afternoon after a full morning of hiking. I would honestly recommend skipping the balanced rock. It added 2 miles to the trip and those 2 miles of energy turned out to be needed late in the day. Enjoy! It’s beautiful out there

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Beate Oeyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 09 2019
Hiking

Such a beautiful hike! You walk through several landscapes and its so quiet and peaceful. We went to the balanced rock in addition, which was nice to see. We started at 0700, and finished the hike in 6hrs, before it got too hot! Bring lots of water and sunscreen! I recommend to do the loop clockwise.

Josh N
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 02 2019
Hiking

The trail is extremely well marked and has some amazing views. I went to gem lake first then to the falls afterwards, then followed the signs for black canyon back to the parking lot. It was Sunday morning and I showed up at 6:30am. I saw maybe all of 20 people during the hike, and it took me 6.5 hours to complete it round trip. Saw some bear on the way and had the falls to myself for the 45 minutes I was there. The only thing that would be a challenge with this trail is the distance, my Fitbit had the hike at 13.3 miles. When I started it was 47 degrees Fahrenheit, by the time I finished it was 92 outside. I drank 1.5L of water. The only recommendation I would really say is use sunscreen if you are going to do the whole loop. The final stretch of trail goes from a wooded area to a field, the sun will bake you without it.

Joe Tegerdine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 24 2019
Hiking

My Suunto Ambit 3 had the loop at 13.3 miles and that was with the 2.4 mile there and back to Bridal Veil Falls. Counter-clockwise is the way to go. Absolutely beautiful saw a ton of wildlife, elk, deer, marmot. Trail running shoes were perfect and 1L of water was sufficient in the cool weather. Good warm up for a 14er or trail run this loop if preparing for a race.

Daniel Polski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 23 2019
Running

Thought this was great! Not as high in elevation as some but was able to run at least 60% of the trail which is so great! Deer and more wildlife! Nice trail

Ethan Conroy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 15 2019
Hiking

Hiked counterclockwise on Friday, June 14. Very dry conditions, temperature in the low 60s. Light sprinkle towards the end of the trip. Very well maintained and graded trails. Nothing difficult about this hike other than the distance. We hiked in trail runners which worked great. The final 10 minutes to bridal veil Falls is a bit steeper and rocky, but well-built stone steps and nothing technical. I prefer going counterclockwise as you have a significant amount of uphill to gem Lake which is easier with fresh legs and a fairly gentle and continuous downhill when returning from the northwest. The Sandy trails can be quite slippery on the steeper sections of downhill. (Hiking) Paul was beneficial on some of these descents, But certainly not required. Overcast during about half of the trip. Only needed 1 L of water per person for the full loop. Brought steri-pen if additional water was needed. Saw 25 to 30 people on a Friday hike. Most of these were on the northern part of the loop going from the parking at the northeast corner of the loop to the falls and back. Only saw one other hiker from the bridal veil Falls Junction all the way counter clockwise back to gem Lake Trail head.

Jim Emmons
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 10 2019
Hiking

Very nice trail. It ended up being 13.7 miles for me. Not sure where the 12 miles comes from. The very end of the Bridal Veil Falls Trail is a bit hard to follow and looks like some scrambling is required. It’s not bad though and well worth the time to find your way around the rocks to get to the falls. I really enjoyed the hike. 7 hours total for me with about a 15-minute break at the falls and a few short water and snack breaks.

Dustin Park
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 03 2019
Hiking

great trail, recommend hiking counter clock wise. 7 hours car to car with 20 minutes spent at the falls.

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Will Beach
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 03 2019
Hiking

Hike was fairly easy, one steep ascent with switchbacks if going clockwise but besides that the hike was a breeze. The falls are beautiful and gem lake is truly a gem. The hike was very heavily trafficked going up to gem lake but only saw about 3 people after the lake. The trail was very dry besides a few muddy spots. Completed on May 31st.

Mark Walls
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 02 2019
HikingRocky

Amazing hike. Not too challenging besides the distance, with some decently steep ascents. We saw a moose, some elk and a few mule deer. Actual distance is about 14 miles and we completed it in about 6 hours. The falls are a worthy detour on the loop and add about 45 minutes to the hike. Completed June 1st 2019 and trail conditions couldn’t have been better, but there were 1 or 2 muddy spots that were easily avoidable. It often rains in the early afternoon so be prepared with rain gear!

Bill Clay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 02 2019
Hiking

Awesome hike, not too crowded and very dry. Didn’t need micro spikes but appreciated good boots and trekking poles. We crossed the river and went past the main fall a bit for an amazing vista! Careful though when the river is flowing it’s a bit wet and slippery. Regarding direction: a park volunteer recommended we do it clockwise for better views of the continental divide and he was right!

Betsy L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 02 2019
HikingMuddySnow

If you're hiking 6/3/19, may want to ask the rangers about how much snow (fresh 6/2) is left on the trail. It was fine-if-very slushy later on for me, but if it were any more packed or icy it would have been a VERY risky trail without equipment. Generally: Probably you should be smarter than me and not start at 11AM, on a whim, despite having socks and water for a 3m plan. I was caught in a late-afternoon snowstorm (on June 2nd!) with, uh, a fair amount of lightning and thunder, so yeah, don't do that. Also pre-emptively bandaid your feet. It's an impressive but definitely long trail, as others have noted, with a lot of variety. I did it counterclockwise and honestly, thank god, because that meant the last 4 miles or so were all gradual descent. If I'd had the climb towards Gem Lake later on, I think I'd still be there.

Mark M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 01 2019
Hiking

wonderful day. perfect trail. great temperatures and cloud cover.

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Cullen Aulwurm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu May 30 2019
Backpacking

Hiked up to Gem Lake first and did the loop as well as bridal veil falls counterclockwise. Camped at the McGregor Mountain Campsite overnight on the western side of the loop (about 1 mile down a separate trial). Great weather, no snow on the trail or at the campsite either!

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