Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, A Recreation Mecca

Bridal Veil Falls is one of the most beautiful and accessible waterfalls in the Provo area.

Bridal Veil Falls

A View of the Upper and Lower Falls from the frontage road

Bridal Veil is composed of two waterfalls, an Upper and a Lower falls that fall some 607 feet from the top of the canyon to meet with the Provo river at the bottom.  The area is open to all types of recreation including hiking, biking, ice climbing etc.

A Little History ….

I find it interesting to know a little bit about places before I visit them as it gives context to some of the things or people you might encounter.  Bridal Veil Falls is no different.

Bridal Veil Falls was once home to the steepest “aerial tramway” in the world  with an average angle of 45 degrees and a maximum angle of 66 degrees.  The tram first openend in 1967 t0 carry visitors from the canyon bottom up to the top of the cliffs where the falls begins, a distance of over 600 vertical feet.

At the top of the falls was a visitor center and lodge complete with a restaurant and dance hall.  At its height Bridal Veil Falls became a premiere Utah attraction drawing visitors from all around the state.  However, the tram and visitor center were eventually closed and destroyed by huge avalanches, the last in 1996 that destroyed the visitor center and bottom dock of the tram.  When you visit Bridal veils some of the remnants of the old tram are still visible

While Bridal Veil no longer provides expensive dining or swanky dancing at its summit, there are still plenty of recreational opportunities in the area for people of all ages and abilities.

Hike Bridal Veil

You can hike up to the lower falls on a short, but at times steep trail.  The trail is only about

Bridal Veil Falls, Lower Falls

A close up view of the falls can be seen after a short but steep hike up

1/3 of a mile and rises a few hundred feet.  The short walk up the hill is well worth it as it provides a beautiful up close view of the lower falls and the chance to bathe in the mist of the falls as the water comes roaring down.  This trail can be found just off the Provo river parkway about 50 yards above the wooden boardwalk and view area of the falls.

Bike Bridal Veil

In the Spring and Summer many people choose to bike to the falls along the Provo River Parkway.  This is a biking and running trail that follows the Provo River from Vivian Park in Provo Canyon to Utah Lake.  The path is paved and well maintained and  makes for an easy ride up the canyon to the falls.  The path goes right past the base of the falls and provides an inspiring view.  The path right below the falls is a pedestrian zone only for about 50 yards so cyclists can either choose to get off and walk their bikes or they can take the road just across the river that still provides an equally stunning view.

Ice Climb Bridal Veil

Due to its unique geology, Bridal Veil Falls is a world famous area for ice climbing.  While

Ice on Bridal Veil

Frozen Ice cliffs around Bridal Veil provide world class ice climbing

the area is closed to most recreation in the winter, Ice climbers can often be seen climbing the face of the mountain near the falls.  Many of the routes around Bridal Veil are for expert climbers only, however, because it is prone to avalanche.

Other Activities

Bridal Veil Falls is part of a larger Park that is maintained by Utah County.  There are areas within the park for people to picnic, walk, fish and explore, including the Provo River and Provo River Parkway.  Many families make use of the park and it can get a little crowded on pleasant summer evening and weekends.

How to Get there?

Bridal Veil Falls is located approximately 4 miles up Provo Canyon in Utah.  At mile 4 their is a turn off for Bridal Veil Park where visitors can park their car or take a frontage road up about 1/4 mile to a pull off that provides a view point of the falls.  This is the same road cyclists can take if they wish to avoid the pedestrian only zone on the Provo River Parkway.  There is also another park just north of the falls called Upper Falls park that provides additional parking and picnic facilities.

To get to Provo Canyon take Exit 272 on I-15 and follow the 800 north to US-189 which will take you up into Provo Canyon.  If your in the mood for a good fun bike ride.  Get on the Provo River Parkway at Utah Lake and ride it up to the falls.  If after reading this you are still not sure how to get there, I recommend using google maps and type in Bridal Veil Falls Utah.

About Dustin

Healthcare professional by day, Outdoor adventurer on the evenings and weekends.
This entry was posted in Beautiful Places, Biking Utah, Climbing Utah, Great Place for a Date, Greater Provo Area, Hiking Utah and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, A Recreation Mecca

  1. Richard Curle says:

    Hi there,

    I would sure appreciate your thoughts, knowledge and expertise. I will in SLC in mid January (up from FL) and will have two days to play. I would like to try to see as many of your beautiful waterfalls and scenic vistas as I can. Short (1hr each way probably) max hikes so I can see as much as I can. The big question I have is what trails are open/accessible to a rental car/SUV and I guess which trails would be open to hiking and last would I need showshoes or spikes on hiking boots (or would they slow me down too much since I have never used them). I’m an experienced hiker and hike in Western NC twice a year.

    What waterfalls or really scenic vista’s would you suggest I visit and/or whom would you suggest I contact for more information? Thank you!!!

    • Dustin says:

      Richard,

      Thanks for your message. Glad you are getting a chance to come to Salt Lake and great questions, I will try to answer them in order. Getting to most of the trails shouldn’t be an issue with a rental car/SUV. Since most of the canyons around Salt Lake have Ski Resorts, most of the roads are very well maintained and only have chains or 4×4 restrictions during storms. We have received some good amount of snow here in the last few days so for some hikes you may need some “spikes” for hiking (I usually use a product called yaktrax, which are great for snow icy conditions on trails that are well packed down, some other hikes will probably require snow shoes depending on the snow fall.
      Some good hikes around the Salt Lake Area include 2 in Millcreek canyon about 20 minutes from airport (The Salt Lake Overview is just a short hike up the canyon that gives a great view of the valley below and probably only requires spikes, unless we get a lot of snow a day or two before you hike it. Grandeur peak in that same canyon is a longer hike to the top of Grandeur peak and requires snow shoes.

      About 25 minutes away are Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, in Big Cottonwood Canyon is Silver Lake and the top of the canyon which you can snow shoe around and Donut Falls, is a small waterfall you can snowshoe too as well (about 1 mile each way). Little Cottonwood canyon also has trails like Grizzly Gulch and Redpine you can snow shoe, ski etc. However in both of these canyon avalanches can occur, so before you go check the conditions with the Utah Avalanche Center. If you drive about 40 minutes south, you will get to Provo and can see Bridal Veil Falls. This is a world famous ice climbing area in the winter, but also the base of the falls is accessible with just a short walk and is one of the prettier waterfalls in the Wasatch. One other hike that might be worth checking out is Bell’s Canyon in the southern part of the Salt Lake valley. Its another one of those hike that probably spikes are good, unless we get a bunch of snow the day or two before. A good site to check out for hikes in winter is show shoe utah. Here is their Link: http://www.snowshoeutah.com/Table-of-Contents.html
      Hope you have a great trip, and feel free to reach out with any other questions.

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