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Exploring colorado’s tallest free-falling waterfall off road

Telluride Colorado

We were headed back home after spending a week with the Cumming Repower Cruise driving through Washington and the Oregon coast. Which was an absolute blast, especially seeing Ron in his element. He just did his first ever engine swap in our 1988 Defender 110. He never changed oil before but somehow figured it out by watching You Tube videos! More on that story here, but for now more about my favorite town!

We wanted to do some hiking and exploring so we decided to pass though Telluride AGAIN since we had a blast this past May, which was the first time we discovered this little town.

Once we got into town we sat at Smugglers Brewery to catch up on some work. After driving in a car for endless hours we were ready to have some fun.

I found the PERFECT hike only 10-minutes from Downtown Telluride.

Tallest Free-Falling waterfall in Colorado – Bridal Veil Falls

You heard that right! This 365-ft. free-falling waterfall with an old power plant sitting on the edge brings adventurous people from all over the world to hike, bike, four-wheel drive, ice climb and explore the surrounding areas.

We drove up to the parking lot. The views were breathtaking! There were three ponds with this vivid blue water. Can you spot the power plant on the edge of the cliff?!


imgEven though we can hike the trail to the top, we decided to drive the gravel switchback road 1.8-miles to the top!

imgWe came across a stream to pass. Since we went mid-September the water was flowing very slow. I am curious how difficult it is to pass during the Spring when water is flowing the most.imgThe valley view was incredible!imgYou can see the aqua ponds below.img

imgThe aspen trees were nearly at its peak color. Which made for a stunning view!img

imgThey took living on the edge quite literally! Scroll to the bottom for some history about this power plant, I was amazed!

imgAfter several switchbacks, we made it to the top of the falls. This is the furthest you can go by vehicle. However, you can park and continue on foot. Pass through the gate just before the power plant. There is a trailhead going into the Bridal Veil Basin. We decided to hike only 20-minutes so we could make it to the bottom for sunset. Thankfully, we did because it was the most intense, vivid, unique sunset I have ever seen in my entire life, shared at the bottom of this page! Apparently, you all can agree, it’s also my most liked photo ever on Instagram!


imgHeaded back to our Defender, can you spot it below?!img

imgAs you may know, I am deathly afraid of driving on the edge of cliffs. I faced a lot of fear and was absolutely worth it! Little did I know this was only a taste of what we got out selves into the following day!

I am not embarrassed to admit, I jumped out to walk some sharp switchback turns on the way down. But who cares, look at this epic shot I got!

imgWe were heading out of town, turned our heads and saw this view! Ron stopped the car and let me out. I was in awe.  I have never seen such a dramatic sunset my entire life! imgWe headed one hour out of town to the top of Alta Lakes to camp for the night. It was more off-roading I didn’t expect and the Defender lost all power up hill at 11,000-ft in the middle of nowhere with no service. Yeah.. crazy right?! You can read all about it here.

Would you drive up, hike or bike up to Bridal Veil Falls? I would love to hear from you! Comment below, Pin, Share & Subscribe to stay up to date on my latest adventures!

imgTallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado – BRIDAL VEIL FALLS

WHERE- Telluride Colorado


DISTANCE- 1.8 miles one-way to top of the falls

DIFFICULTY- Easy – moderate

ELEVATION GAIN- 1,650 feet

TIME- 1 hour one way

WHAT TO EXPECT-  You can park at the “Valley View Area Parking Lot” and continue on foot/bike or like us, drive to the falls. Dirt road with several switchbacks. Lane wide enough for two cars in most places. Some areas only one car can pass. 4-wheel drive recommended but can be done without, we saw cars at the top. You pass through water in one section. We went in late September so water level was low. No vehicles are aloud beyond top of the falls. There is small area you can park and continue on foot. Pass through the gate just before the power plant there is a trailhead heading into the Bridal Veil Basin.

Smuggler-Union Hydroelectric Power plant was built on top of Bridal Veil Falls in 1907. It generates enough energy to power about 2,000 homes today.





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