Picture walking through a forest of cosmic alders and moss-covered maple and firs. Then, being greeted by the sound of roaring waters. A peek through the foliage will lead you to one of Washington's tallest gems, a breathtaking 1,328-foot waterfall.
Getting to this spot might take a little legwork, but it promises to be the most rewarding. The Bridal Veil Falls is a 3.7-mile out-and-back hike with a 1000-feet elevation gain.
It derives its name from the veil-like appearance of the 5-tiered cascading waterfall surrounded by winds blowing its mists — a moment of true magic for nature-lovers.
Since parking is pretty limited, arrive early, and purchase a Northwest Forest Pass for $30 at National Forest offices, visitor centers or online. It's good for a year, so you can visit anytime you want. Hikers also pick this spot year-around but check out for road closures during winter months.
The hike begins fairly easy, but after about 1.5 miles the trail splits towards Lake Serene, creating a short ascent.
This will take you through dreamy wooden bridges and staircases that might have as well have been laid there by Frodo Baggins, leading you to the inviting sounds of roaring water.
Chances are you'll feel the gushing spray before you crane your neck and see the Fall in all its glory! Discovered in the 1900s by workers at a nearby mine, this massive waterfall launches into the Skykomish River valley.
Although the best time to visit this is through September, fall and winter come with its own perks — there are light sprinkles of pretty snow that are not too hard to cross. The ease of the hike also makes this trail dog-friendly!
It's a fairly muddy trail year-round with several streams to hike around, so don't forget to pack your best waterproof shoes. Since the waterfall is nestled into the cliffs of Mount Index, you can expect a rocky climb. So, hiking with poles is recommended.
You can even attempt to get on the rockface for some Instagram-worthy shots, but mind your step as those stones can get slippery.
Make sure to pack a change of clothes that you can switch around at the restrooms near the trailhead. All in all, you might leave cold and wet, but you'll take with you the memory of the most spectacular falls.
Bridal Veil Falls
Price: $30 for the Northwest Forest Pass
Address: Central Cascades, Stevens Pass - West
Why You Need To Go: A spectacular sight of one of Washington's tallest waterfalls standing at 1,328 feet.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.