Plunging 620 feet down a granite cliff, Bridalveil Fall offers visitors the first chance to experience one of the park’s iconic waterfalls as they enter Yosemite Valley. Long before the 1864 Yosemite Grant Act set the Valley aside as protected public land, Yosemite residents and visitors marveled at the beauty and strength of the fall.

While most Valley waterfalls are seasonal, Bridalveil Fall flows throughout the year. When the water peaks in late spring and early summer, the strong spray soaks the trail that leads to the base of the fall, creating damp, and sometimes difficult, conditions.  During the rest of the year, the fall is known for its light, swaying flow.

Over time, Bridalveil Fall’s popularity has outpaced surrounding facilities and trails. Some parts of the trail system are paved, but steep sections and uneven walkways prevent it from being universally accessible. Overgrown vegetation has obscured views of the fall from scenic vantage points. People trying to get an up-close look have to share the single unobstructed viewing area with crowds of other visitors. The parking lot cannot accommodate current visitor levels; cars end up parking on adjacent roadways, creating safety hazards for drivers and pedestrians. The existing signs do not provide clear enough instructions for people trying to navigate the parking area or trail.

The restoration project for Bridalveil Fall will focus on enhancing the visitor experience and protecting the surrounding habitat.  A public process and a shared vision for the area will inform the design development.

The environmental assessment process will consider options to:

  • Reclaim the priceless natural beauty, rustic character and riparian habitats of the west end of Yosemite Valley while providing an exceptional and memorable experience for visitors
  • Enhance visitor satisfaction and safety with a redesigned parking area within the same footprint, accessible pathways and upgraded restrooms
  • Ensure that visitors of all abilities enjoy unobstructed views of Bridalveil Fall through several accessible vista points and the restoration of historic vistas
  • Reduce crowding through a realigned loop trail so hikers can focus on the beauty of Bridalveil Fall without distractions
  • Help visitors easily find their way throughout the area, with arrival information and directional signage
  • Enrich the Bridalveil Fall experience by sharing the intriguing natural history and compelling human stories of the area

Yosemite Conservancy has partnered with Yosemite National Park to enhance the visitor experience at Bridalveil Fall. The restoration work will be funded through a partnership between the National Park Service and Yosemite Conservancy donors.

To make a gift to support the restoration of Bridalveil Fall and other projects, contact Alison Dombroski (415)434-8446 x 333 adombroski@yosemiteconservancy.org.

Watch this video to learn more

Partnering with Yosemite National Park. Learn more

R. Brad Lewis

Project Management

Project Notes

Every year approximately 400,000 visitors stop to visit Bridalveil Fall. This project will create lasting impressions of Yosemite's beauty.