Today was exactly the kind of day I was waiting for in order to tackle a good trek: sunny skies and beautiful June weather. The initial plan was to hike seemingly lovely Latourell Falls. Unfortunately, once we arrived at the trailhead, the trail to the falls were closed. Not to be deterred, since we were already out on the gorge, we decided to try some of the other falls hikes nearby.
Less than a mile from the Latourell Falls trailhead was the Bridal Veil Falls trailhead. A glance in my trail book said it was a short but beautiful trail to a multi-tiered waterfall. We decided to take it. The waterfall was indeed lovely!
There are two trails you can take once you’re past the public restrooms after the parking lot. Head down the one to the right to see the waterfall. The trail itself is an out and back 1.2 miles. It starts out paved and fairly level, but then for the remaining half mile it’s a pretty decent descent downhill and down various sets of stairs. You can hear the falls almost back from the start at the trailhead, and gets increasingly more loud as you wind your way down to the falls. Then you head up a set of stairs to a wooden perch which gives you the best view of the falls. It’s at this point the trail ends, so after you picture snap your little heart out, you can turn around and trek the .6 miles back up to the trail head.
The trail was pretty crowded with folks today, which makes sense considering it was a beautiful summer Sunday. If you’re looking to take good, non-human intruded photos of the trail and the falls, a week day morning would probably be your best bet. Also there were a fair amount of Maple trees covering the trail and surrounding the falls, which leads me to believe this hike is even more gorgeous in the fall.
After coming up from the Bridal Veil Falls hike, we then decided to check out the Bridal Veil Interpretive Loop, which was the trail that splits off to the left past the restrooms. The loop is a short half mile around, and was a nice, easy stroll to get my heart rate down after the climb leaving Bridal Veil Falls. This little stroll, however, packs a visual punch. Some of the most impressive views I’ve gotten from the Columbia River Gorge were spotted here.
Along with impressive Gorge views, you can also spot a fair share of wildflowers, of which I’m a sucker for. Unlike the Fort Cascades Historic Trail which was also ‘interpretive’, this trail actually has a fair amount of informative plaques that teach you about the history of the land, which makes for a richer experience. The path itself is entirely paved and completely level, so if you wanted to take someone with mobility issues up to a lovely spot on the Gorge for the views, this is the place. There are also plenty of picnic tables dotting the trail if you wanted to bring a lunch and take in the splendor of the terrain.
My trail book also suggested checking out Shepard’s Dell as an add-on to Bridal Veil Falls, which is another short little trail leading to a dazzling waterfall. The trailhead to Shepard’s Dell is .7 miles down the road from the Bridal Veil Falls trailhead and definitely worth checking out if you’re already out there.
From the trailhead just follow the path straight down and around a paved/stone passageway that leads straight to the falls. The end point takes you as close to the waterfall as you can get without actually taking you right underneath it. You also get a unique perspective of the bridge that goes over the path to the falls. A short, quaint, and lovely .5ish out and back trek.
Treks down: 11, Treks to Go: 41