Between shows at The Ride Festival, John and I decided to take a Saturday morning hike up to Bridal Veil Falls with the intention of making it to Blue Lake. We chose this trail because of the proximity of its trailhead to Telluride and word of mouth recommendations.
When we got to the trailhead, we were psyched to see that the trail leads up to not only Colorado’s tallest waterfall but also to the stunning Ingram Falls. Ingram Falls is visible from most of Telluride and had captured our attention since our first drive into the town.
We arrived at the Valley View parking area around 9:30 am. If we had arrived any later, we might not have gotten parking spot. As we were eating breakfast and putting our boots on in the parking lot, the road filled with hikers’ and mountain bikers’ vehicles.
The road to the top of the falls is a steep dirt road. As the morning continued, more and more cars passed us by. They were fairly annoying, especially the ones that would shoot up dust and rocks, but we learned to face the valley and enjoy the view while they passed.
The views of Telluride and the surrounding Box Canyon were unbelievable. During the entire hike, I could not stop commenting on how stunning the layered rocks were and how much better the view got as we went higher.
Before we made it to Bridal Veil Falls, we stopped to check out Ingram Falls at the few points where the trail crosses over or approaches its waters. This waterfall falls over one thousand feet down into the valley. Some snow atop the fall was still frozen, and it created little ice bridges where the flowing water cut through.
John’s favorite part of the hike was the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls. You could feel the mist of the waterfall from a dozen yards away, and it was very refreshing after the sunny hike up. We stopped to take some pictures and helped other groups take theirs before we continued the climb to the top of the fall.
What we were not expecting to find on our way was a mine hidden inside the canyon wall. There were broken rail tracks that led straight to it. It lead our curiosity to questions like who owned it and what was the purpose of the rushing water behind the mine’s gate.
A few climbers were hiking along a nearby ledge, so we followed them to a great spot where we sat and took in the view for a while. We had a snack and grabbed some water before continuing up the hill to the top of the falls.
The top of the falls is home to the historic Smuggler-Union Hydroelectric Powerplant. This plant was built in 1907 and was put on the national registry of historic sites after it went out of commission in the 1950’s. Since then, it has been restored and provides power to almost a quarter of Telluride!
It was so incredible to see the beauty and power of Colorado’s tallest waterfall up close, and the views surrounding it made for one incredible hike. The hike is just under 5 miles round trip, and I would highly suggest it if you ever find yourself in Telluride or in the surrounding San Juan Mountains.
Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read!