Bridal Veil Falls hike in Washington

Hiking Bridal Veil Falls (Full Review!)

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Kelly

Bridal Veil Falls is one of our favorite waterfalls in Washington State. It’s a unique waterfall because the water tumbles down a 100-foot tall rock face, which causes the water to thinly spread out like a veil. In order to see Bridal Veil Falls, you’ll need to complete a moderately difficult hike. 

We really enjoyed our recent hike to Bridal Veil Falls. (We’ve also hiked further up the trail to Lake Serene as well!) In this post, we’re sharing our full review of the Bridal Veil Falls hike. We’re sharing our best tips and a lot of photos from our hike!

Bridal Veil Falls in Washington hike

About Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls is an impressive 1,328 foot waterfall. The water flows from Lake Serene all the way down to the South Fork of the Skykomish River. The waterfall has four distinct tiers, two of which are clearly visible from the hike. When you look out into the distance away from the falls, you’ll have excellent views of the North Skykomish Valley. Directly behind Bridal Veil Falls, you’ll see Mount Index.  

Hiking Bridal Veil Falls in Washington

Important Information 

  • Type of Hike: Out-and-back
  • Total Length: 4 miles
  • Total Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
  • Restrooms: Two pit toilets at trailhead
  • Pass Needed: Northwest Forest Pass 
  • Dogs: Allowed on Leash
  • Estimated Duration: About 3 hours (depending on your pace)

Bridal Veil Falls in Washington hike

How to Get to the Trailhead

map of Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls is located in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. You can reach the trailhead by turning off of Highway 2 onto Mount Index Road.  Follow the road a little ways and you’ll see a sign for the Lake Serene trail. Follow that sign and you will see a large parking lot. 

Note: When we recently went to Bridal Veil Falls, Google Maps told us to follow Mount Index Road for quite a ways past the parking lot. That is incorrect. You’ll want to park at the Lake Serene sign. 

Parking Information

The main parking lot at Bridal Veil Falls is right next to the trailhead and contains a pit toilet restroom. The parking lot for Bridal Veil Falls can fill up quickly. Although it’s a large lot, if you’re planning to hike on a weekend, you might find that there are no more parking spaces.

During our last visit to Bridal Veil Falls, we parked in an overflow parking area that is a short hike away from the main lot. There were many cars parked alongside the road as well. Just be careful not to park in any prohibited areas. Parking further away from the parking lot added some extra distance to our hike, so you’ll want to keep that in mind too.

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hiking bridal veil falls in Washington

  • If you don’t have an annual Northwest Forest Pass, be sure to pre-purchase a day pass. You can purchase one online and print it from home so that you have it with you when you’re ready to park in the parking lot. 
  • Read recent trip reports to inform you of recent trail conditions. You can read them at the bottom of the WTA hike description. 
  • This is a very popular hike, and the parking lot can fill up quick on summer weekends. We recommend arriving early. If the parking lot is full, there is an overflow lot a tad bit further down Mount Index Road.
  • Wear comfortable hiking boots. The trail might have a lot of water on it in places, so it’s good to have waterproof boots.
  • Pack the 10 Essentials whenever you go hiking.
  • Follow Leave No Trace principles. Definitely don’t litter.
  • Bring enough water to stay hydrated.
  • Bring a waterproof layer for the mist at the top. We hiked on a warm day, but it was freezing at the top and we got drenched!
  • Take a photo of the trail map before you start your hike. It’s good to have the map with you for safety reasons. You can also download the trail map in advance while you still have cell service.

Bridal Veil Falls in Washington hike

Trail Guide

The hike starts out by following an old forest road. The road is wide and it’s a fairly mild ascent.

Bridal Veil Falls in Washington
The trail began on this road.

One of the things I love about this hike is all the moss on the trees.

Bridal Veil Falls in Washington
Lots of moss!

There’s a few water crossings along the way. They are fairly manageable, but just be cautious with your footing.

bridal veil falls in Washington
The trail follows across the log to the right.

At about 1.5 miles in, you’ll see a fork in the trail and a sign. If you keep to the left, you’ll head up to Lake Serene. (We’ve done that trail before, and it’s significantly harder.) If you stay to the right, you’ll continue on to Bridal Veil Falls. Be careful to pay attention to this sign and go the right way!

Bridal Veil Falls in Washington hike
Stay to the right at this sign.

Once you pass the sign, you’ll start the portion of the trail with the most elevation gain. You’ll head up quite a few stairs!

Bridal Veil Falls in Washington hike

When you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with an impressive view of Bridal Veil Falls! We went to the falls in the late spring, and the water was really raging! 

Bridal Veil Falls in Washington hike         

There’s also some cabin ruins near the end of the hike to Bridal Veil Falls, but we didn’t see them. We’ll have to look more carefully next time!

Adding the Lake Serene Hike

We hiked Lake Serene on a separate occasion, and it’s also a beautiful hike. The hike is significantly longer (8.2 miles roundtrip), so make sure you have enough hours of sunlight to complete it. When we last hiked Lake Serene, there was still a lot of snow at the top. You may need microspikes. Read recent trip reports to make sure you’re prepared. We think it would be pretty difficult to combine both the Bridal Veil Falls hike and the Lake Serene hike, unless you are in good shape and arrive early enough to complete them both before nightfall. 

Bridal Veil Falls in Washington hike

Nearby Restaurants

Espresso Chalet

Espresso Chalet

After you’ve completed your hike to Bridal Veil Falls, we recommend heading east on Highway 2 for just a few minutes. You’ll find the Espresso Chalet on your righthand side. Grab an espresso, latte, coffee, or tea. You might also want to get one of their Bigfoot Cookies – you definitely earned it! We love this espresso stand because the view from the seating area is absolutely breathtaking. It just might be the best place ever to have a cup of coffee.

Espresso Chalet

The Espresso Chalet also has lots of merchandise from the movie Harry and the Hendersons, which was filmed in the area. I grew up watching that movie, so there’s definitely some serious nostalgia at this espresso stand!

Espresso Chalet

J&L BBQ in Monroe

If you’re headed west back home on Highway 2, we recommend that you stop in Monroe for J&L BBQ. We ordered the brisket, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and corn bread. We think it might just be the best barbecue we have ever had! It was a great meal after hiking Bridal Veil Falls.


Hotels Near Bridal Veil Falls

If you’re looking to stay the night in Index, there are a few cabin-style places to choose from:

  • Index River Roost: This vacation home has 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, with a gorgeous view of the river.
  • Timber Creek Cabin: This home has 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, with views of the creek and a large stone fireplace. 
  • Three Enchanting Riverfront Cabins: This property has several bedrooms, plus a sauna and a hot tub.

Bridal Veil Falls in Washington hike


Bridal Veil Falls in Washington hike

We really enjoyed our hike up to Bridal Veil Falls. We felt that it was just the right difficulty level for what we wanted to hike that day. We had a good workout, but it didn’t completely drain us. The view of the falls was definitely impressive! We also loved hiking through the moss-covered forest. Every part of this hike was enjoyable!

Bridal Veil Falls pinterest pin
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Disclaimer: We always strive for content accuracy. Since the time of publishing, travel-related information regarding pricing, schedules, and hours may have changed. Please see individual websites embedded in this post for the most current trip-planning information.

Hi, I’m Kelly!

After studying abroad in Spain, I became passionate about international travel. Since then, I’ve traveled to 6 continents and 36 states within the United States. When I’m not travel blogging, you can find me hiking, reading books in Spanish, or playing cribbage. I hope my blog inspires you to see the world!