Bridalveil Fall is one of the most prominent waterfalls in the Yosemite Valley. The Falls flow all year round. The allure of tribal legend adds to the enchantment of the fall. The Ahwahneechee tribe believed that the fall was home to a vengeful spirit named Pohono who guarded the entrance to the valley. Consequently, people who were departing from the valley could not gaze directly into the waterfall. If they chose to do so, they would be cursed. The tribe also believed that the mist emanating from the fall would improve one’s chances of marriage.
The walk to the base of the fall is short. As you come close to the edge of the phenomenon, you will get a spectacular view of the wind swept waterfall.
Bridalveil Fall plunges profoundly downward for 620 feet. It is often the first waterfall that you will catch a glimpse of when entering Yosemite Valley.
Although the fall is open year-round, the water is at its peak in spring and early summer. During this time, the fall sprays its mist which can be quite strong and even make the end of the trail difficult to access. When the winds are brisk, the falling water is often blown to the side, and when the flow of the Fall is light, it may not reach the earth directly below. It is for this reason that the waterfall earned the name “Pohono” from the Awahneechee Native Americans. This term translates as “Spirit of the Puffing wind”.