A cold winter ski town does not naturally lead one to seek out hiking. But my friends and I apparently hike regardless? Much like my long rants in my Patagonia blooper reel or Kilimanjaro, this was one of those instances where I’ve learned I am always terribly unprepared to hike. Always. In Telluride, it was Bridal Veil Falls.
Travelers tend to have a fascination with waterfalls, I feel. Angel Falls, Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls, the various amazing waterfalls to photograph in Iceland – I wonder what it is that grasps our attention and wonder. Bridal Veil is not the same category of fame as the few I’ve listed above, but it is the tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado! There is a historical power plant at the top of the falls, and apparently still generates 25% of Telluride’s power.
First, my tips for a winter hike at Bridal Veil:
- Wear snow boots. Preferably snow boots that cover more of your leg, or just wear your ski pants! The snow is knee deep at many places, and can be quite terrible. (FYI, I wore Uggs that I hadn’t sprayed with waterproof spray… My feet were soaked. And very very wet.)
- Wear layers that will not be a pain to carry. While in the sun and trudging up the hill, it is possible to get very sweaty. You will want to take things off.
- Pace yourself. Telluride is at almost 9,000 feet, and the falls are higher than that. The altitude will make it harder to do the same things you wouldn’t have problems with at sea level.
How to get there:
- Get to Telluride’s main town.
- Walk southeast
- There’s only one road out of town to the southeast. Follow the main road the entire way.
- Arrive at an old mining factory (I think it’s closed, but it could just be for the winter?)
- Keep walking through, and there will be a zigzag that starts going uphill.
- Just follow the path up the hill!
Okay, I may have made this place sound terrible to get to. But! The views are gorgeous – just look at the pictures! =). Plus, it is not advisable to spend an ENTIRE DAY in the hot tub – you’d resemble a 70 year old grandma by the end of it.