Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park.

©Wayne Hsieh78/Shutterstock

Bridalveil Fall

Yosemite National Park

At the southwestern end of the valley, Bridalveil Fall tumbles 620ft. The Ahwahneechee people call it Pohono (Spirit of the Puffing Wind), as gusts often blow the fall from side to side, even lifting water back up into the air. Peregrine falcons glide overhead. The waterfall usually runs year-round, though it’s often reduced to a whisper by midsummer. Bring rain gear or expect to get soaked when the fall is heavy.

Park at the large lot where Wawona Rd (Hwy 41) meets Southside Dr. From the lot, it’s a little more than a quarter-mile walk to the base of the fall. The path is paved but probably too rough for wheelchairs, and there’s a bit of a steep part at the very end. Avoid climbing on the slippery rocks at the fall's base – no one likes a broken bone.

If you’d rather walk from the valley, a trail (part of the Loop Trails) follows Southside Dr, beginning near the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center and running about 3.8 miles west to the fall.

The Yosemite Conservancy is raising money to redesign parking and trail access to the falls.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Yosemite National Park attractions

1. Yosemite National Park

0.41 MILES

Yosemite means "killer" in the Indigenous Miwok language, and in today's parlance it's indeed an impressive, awesome site. Everywhere you look in Yosemite…

3. Valley View

0.95 MILES

Views of El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall can be had from this valley-floor turnout.

4. Ribbon Falls

1.29 MILES

At 1600 ft, Ribbon Falls, only seen from the west side of El Capitan, is the highest single drop falls in North America. There's no signage and no real…

5. El Capitan

1.29 MILES

At nearly 3600ft from base to summit, El Capitan ranks as one of the world’s largest granite monoliths. Its sheer face makes it a world-class destination…

6. Tunnel View

1.71 MILES

Just off Hwy 41, immediately east of Wawona Tunnel, is the parking lot for this spectacular viewpoint where you can take in much of the valley floor,…

7. Inspiration Point

1.73 MILES

Some of Yosemite's best vistas are granted to those who hike the steep, 1.3-mile trail up to this viewpoint. Inspiration Point used to be a spot along an…

8. McGurk Meadow

2.68 MILES

Lush wildflower-strewn meadow with a historic log cabin. Makes for a nice, leisurely stroll.