Bridal Veil Falls Via Lumpy Ridge Trails

HARD 84 reviews
#42 of 191 trails in

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

12.5 miles
2,988 feet







wild flowers


no dogs

2 months ago

Did this hike yesterday with my friends. It was a little windy and there was a little ice near the falls but overall it was beautiful and an amazing hike.

3 months ago

We started late (1300) and did finish about 1915 in the dark, however we were able to hit gem lake at sunset and it was gorgeous. It does feel like a full 13 Miles and for the falls I would try and go after a heavy rain, the falls were gorgeous but small on our trip.

5 months ago

Went clockwise at sun up. First 1/2 was in the shade. Second 1/2 headed to gem lake from bridal veil falls was pretty warm @ 80 degs today. Still a great hike with lots of fall colors. Saw elk, turkeys and a bobcat. We think the bobcat was sneaking in on the turkeys.

5 months ago

We started at 830am and got back to the trailhead at about 530pm on 9/4/18, but we stopped at Bridal Veil Falls as well as Gem Lake for a generous amount of time. Did the loop counterclockwise. We are experienced but not advanced hikers, wore hiking shoes and brought a day pack for water/snacks/layers. Nothing fancy.

This is a really gorgeous hike that takes you through at least four different habitats around and on the mountains. The second half of the hike goes through a lot of open fields/meadows but is very close to shaded areas at the base of the mountain. This could be frustrating but luckily we had some thunderstorms that kept us cool. Bring LOTS of water!!!! There is no water to refill with on the trail unless you filter from Gem Lake or a stream. We had five water bottles and were still very thirsty by the end.

As other reviews state, the steepest part of the hike is the first chunk right before Gem Lake. After that it is pretty steady and a good mixture of up and down before Bridal Veil Falls, which were pretty steep. Some people said they were disappointed in the falls, but make sure you climb up the side to see the falls from above! The creek and the view from up there are well worth it, just be careful of slippery wet rocks.

We didn't get the chance to see any elk, but... we did see A BEAR! During those thunderstorms we managed to walk right up on one before we could hear each other... holy crap was that a rush! Like other reviews said, this probably only happened because we saw so few people. In all those hours hiking we probably passed 20 people total- and we didn't see anybody on the back half of the loop on Black canyon trail.

Passing through the private land on the back of the loop was interesting. At first we were nervous, but since it's part of the MacGregor Ranch it is technically still a part of the national park and the land is open and full of pines and boulders. Just stay on the trail and you're good.

Overall an amazing experience! Perfect all-day hike without the intensity of hiking 7 miles to a summit.

Ryan & Christie

5 months ago

The loop is great! Totally recommend the hike! You start with the steepest part “Gem Lake” - best option, only a few miles through big boulders and steep walls. After that is a great decent to the valley, and you would be lucky to find anyone on the trail (apart from bulk deers and elks)... you reach this easy hike to the base of the waterfall (last mile is tough). From there you will following and decent uphill (way easier than the other way around) to the best pastures ever!
It is a hard hike, long and non technical but totally great!
Deers are abundant, elks will be there!
We started at 11:30 an finished around 18...

6 months ago

A 4 outta 5. The lake and Bridal Falls made it worth it. The back part of the loop is indeed hot but it's a little ridiculous to complain about it!

I got a late start with my 19 month old daughter - left the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead at 830am on a Monday (7/30/18) and did the loop counter clockwise. I ended around 330pm. I gotta be honest, it was tough sledging on the last ascent on the backside of the loop. Mostly because I was carrying my daughter in a pack which weighed ~47 pounds and I was getting worn down.

A few things:

-Per GAIA GPS: 13.08 miles, 2,790' ascent, 7:18 hours (1:36 of stoppage time - lunch at the falls, water filtration, diaper changes).
-I was surprised at the lack of people. Saw ~8 people between TH and Gem Lake. Probably ~5 between Gem Lake and Bridal Falls area. ~12 around the Falls. ~10 from Falls, around back part of loop, and TH (mostly within a mile of TH).
-Water is pretty much everywhere. I refilled near the Falls.

7 months ago

Tough trail. The backside of the loop has little shade so gets hot this time of year, but there are tons of wildflowers right now.

8 months ago

The trail is not shaded well enough. Definitely not a good hike for sunny and hot days. The views close to Gem lake were great. My GPS shows 13 miles and 2740 ft elevation gain. I did the loop clockwise.

9 months ago

9 months ago

Great hike. We completed this on 5/6/18. The current conditions are AMAZING! No ice. Spikes and snowshoes are NOT needed. There was a teeny bit of snow towards the top of the last climb, but nothing that required traction or poles. There were a few sporadic wildflowers and I think this hike will really come to life in the next week or 2!

11 months ago

Backside has kneedeep snow the entire way, definitely need snowshoes right now! Go towards Gem Lake if you are doing the entire loop, or you'll have a bad time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

It’s quite pleasant in certain spans but definitely challenging. Think I spent 2.3 miles going up hill only near the 7 mile mark of the loop. Came to a sign to continue west and chose to continue the loop and the next 3.8 miles was down hill and cut through private property, which a sign states and to stay on the trail. Great views especially if you head to Gem lake trail first. On the way you can sit out on a boulder overhang and take in the valleys of Estes Park. Great view. Gem lake was beautiful it’s just too bad some idiot decided to throw his sprite bottle on the lake ice.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Very good trail, but somewhat overdone with improvements.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

This is a nice challenging trail. Since it starts outside of the park, it was much less crowded than other trails in the park. Pretty views, although not as spectacular as some of the other Rocky Mountain park trails. I thought the falls was a little underwhelming. I did enjoy the up and down and variety of this trail. We had lots of sun and were quite exposed towards the end, so it became a bit hot. We also encountered an Elk which was pretty cool/a bit scary!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

If you don't have a lot of time at RMNP then skip this, a lot more hikes in the park worth the time and effort

Sunday, June 25, 2017

We skipped the falls and went to balanced rock instead. it's a long loop, but is very beautiful.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Great hike with a variety of thing to see. Not many people on the trail other then from Gem lake down to the lot which is full of people.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

We did this on Saturday 6/10. We woke up late and didn't get to the park until around 8/8:30am. The parking lot was full so we parked about 0.5 miles from the trailhead on the side of the road. If you go on a weekend get there early to beat the Gem Lake hikers. Once you pass a very crowded and very small Gem Lake you won't see many people on the trail until you get to the Cow Creek trail. It was crowded at Bridal Veil Falls (which is also a very small area). There was a wedding that was ending as we got there. Some people had problems on the rocks leading to the falls but the trail is decently marked and it's not too long until you are there. Make sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen given the lack of tree cover on this hike. Some hikers spotted a brown bear right off trail but we only saw friendly chipmunks. I found it to be more moderate than hard. You go up and down hill versus all up and all down so that made it challenging on the last half of the hike. Very beautiful views along the way.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Started the hike on 5/28 at 9:15 am from Lumpy Ridge TH, clockwise route. Trail was snow free and the small parking lot was about half full.

This was a nice hike with many different features, which is the reason for 5 stars. Heading into Mcgregor Ranch we saw a couple bull elk on the trail. Had to wait awhile for them to move. The open meadows and the view of Longs Peak were good. On the way to Bridal Falls we followed the creek through many Aspen groves. Saw a turkey at Bridal Falls intersection. Bridal Falls was great - very powerful this time of year. Great spot for lunch. We then proceeded to Gem Lake. Didn't see anyone on the uphill stretch to a nice gem of a lake. It was super crowed though, and we left after being swarmed by brazen chipmunks.

Solid, long day hike with mountain views, some wild life, open meadows, forest, a creek, waterfall, and a very unique lake.


Friday, May 12, 2017

So much fun- lots of steps back up to return to gem lake and trailhead but totally worth it.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Hiked loop minus the bridal falls out and back branch (which I think reduced it to 10.5 or 11 miles). Wonderfully quiet in the winter, did not see another person besides toward the very start. pretty views on the descent from Gem "Lake". Very slow moving on portions of the Black Canyon and Cow Creek trail without snowshoes, as the snow was quite deep and the trail had not been blazed since the last snowfall in one section. I will definitely bring snowshoes if I return this winter. Microspikes and poles were a definite must for the icy descent portion.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I have been hiking this either Sep 27 or 28 (last hike, Sep 28, 2016) when the Aspen fall colors are at their best, optimum color. Lump loop trail is really great for viewing Fall colors, spectacular rock formation and a small lake rightfully named Gem lake.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Excellent hike. Lots of mule deer, some evidence of elk, etc. Enjoy the views of The Needles, and don't forget to go UP the falls to Cow Creek! Bring nutrition, water, and a filter. Some portions can be run to cut down your time on trail. Our Garmin devices showed almost 3500 ascent, but that was with the climb to Cow Creek.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Beautiful trail with lots of different terrain.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Challening, Serene hike that will take from the front and back of "The Needles." If you bring along some climbing gear you can even go rock climbing as well!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Great loop trail for interval training.Started at Lumpy ride TH going up Black canyon. Great views of Longs peak from Mac Gregor ranch.

There is great description of the trail at so I will skip trail description.

Gem lake was not a gem, more like a puddle of water.

Great views again coming down Gem lake trail.

There aren't much views when you climb up Dark mountain trail and Cow creek trail as most of it goes thru trees. Views from MacGregor ranch and coming down Gem lake trail at the end are fab. Saw a herd of deer in early section of Dark mountain trail.

Total miles = 11 miles. Moving time 5 hrs 11 mins. Took 1 hr between for lunch, photos and rest stops.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Beautiful and quiet. We did the ten mile loop and saw a lot of wildlife and enjoyed a peaceful hike.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

a great hike with panoramic views of Long's Peak along the way. The trail is very well maintained and is a relatively easy hike. We hiked up to Gem Lake which even with lots of people around on the Saturday, you had a feeling that you were alone in a special place. Highly recommend it and when any of our friends from back east come to visit we will make this hike again.

bird watching
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

We did this hike as a loop clockwise to get some good sunrise photos of McGregor Ranch, Longs Peak and Lumpy Ridge. The trail was easy to navigate and offered a lot of opportunities to take short (2 mile out and back) hikes to other destinations. The uphill portions of the trail were fairly easy and always resulted in great views. Gem Lake was disappointingly small and crowded. Our hike was 11.8 miles with 2,680' of elevation gain. The 2013 Flood washout portions of the trail have been repaired and do not pose any issues. You will definitely enjoy this one regardless of your skill level.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I did this trail but in combination with a portion of the needless trail, crow creek trail, and the gem lake trail; so we did a giant loop. We went up around 9 am and got back to our car around 5/6 pm. Going up the lumpy ridge trail is very steep and can be challenging but the views at the top are so worth it! In my opinion it is an absolutely spectacular view, but not a good trail for beginners. I suggest doing the loop like I did if you plan on spending the day in the mountains and getting a good work out! :-) Love this trail! I need to do again!

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