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Visiting Bridal Vail Falls in Provo Canyon Utah

The state of Utah offers a variety of natural attractions, rich in history for its visitors. One such destination is Bridal Vail Falls located in Provo Canyon. The waterfall is a gorgeous double cascade that streams from the mountainside only about 10 miles from Provo City Center. You might recognize the falls from the 1982 movie Savannah Smiles where the main characters took the aerial tramway to the top of the falls. The tramway is no longer there as it was destroyed by an avalanche in 1996. However, the falls are still a beautiful site to visit and even novice hikers enjoy making their way up to the lower falls to bask in the cool mist and explore the rocky terrain.

Bridal Vail Falls

Bridal Vail Falls

The Legend

Many moons ago, an Indian named Norita and a brave from a rival tribe, named Grey Eagle met and fell in love. They planned to meet near a streamlet high on the mountainside and elope to a land far away from both their tribes. On that fateful night, instead of her lover, Norita was confronted by braves from her own tribe. Fearing her lover had been destroyed she leaped from the high ledges.
Mother Nature was touched by her wild beauty, and she caught up Norita’s streaming tresses and made from them a Bridal Veil of falling water. From her flowing gown an alter was formed on the face of the mountain. Then her spirit was sent out as a mist, causing a green carpet to spread over the mountainside.
The intruders fled while her saddened lover stood and gazed down at the strange yet beautiful transformation. His grief was more than he could bear, so out of compassion for his sorrow, Mother Nature molded his massive frames into the mountain and stretched his mighty shoulders high into the heavens like silent sentinels to guard over his loved one. His cries of anguish were softened into love calls to whisper forever.

Thus, the reason for the name Bridal Vail Falls. So, just off Highway 189 that meanders through Provo Canyon is Bridal Vail Park, where you can walk a short path to the small pool and stream at the bottom of the mountain. Here little ones enjoy feeding the fish while older kids and adults venture up to the falls.

Feeding Fish at Bridal Falls in Utah

Feeding Fish

Hiking up to the Bridal Vail Falls

Hiking up to the falls

For those who don’t want to venture up the rocky base of the falls, there is a hiking trail that goes along the side of the mountain up to the lower falls. We didn’t come prepared with water shoes and didn’t want to ruin our good tennis and hiking shoes, so we wore flip flops. Not the ideal footwear for a hike, but they worked out ok and even my two little boys were able to make the hike without any trouble.

Hiking on the trail to Bridal Vail Falls

Hiking on the trail to the falls

When you reach the falls, be prepared for a nice cool mist and a good chance of getting wet. The terrain around the falls is very rocky and youth really enjoy exploring around the waterfall.

What to expect when visiting Bridal Vail Falls

At the falls

If you’re brave enough to venture closer to the falls, you can get some really amazing pictures – though you are guaranteed to get wet!

Enjoying the cool water cascading from Bridal Vail Falls

Enjoying the cool water cascading from the mountain?

And, of course, the view of the canyon is inspiring too. The majesty of the world we live in is on full display and you can’t help but gaze in awe at the beauty and grandeur surrounding you.

Provo Canyon in Utah

Provo Canyon

On our adventure we spent a couple of hours at the falls. All the kids enjoyed exploring the park area at the bottom of the mountain, feeding the fish, and wandering around the shallow water. The older kids hiked with Grandpa straight up to the falls while Grandma and I took the younger kids up the trail. After we came back down to the park, the kids spent more time enjoying the park area. I would highly recommend water shoes and either swim suits or clothes you don’t mind getting wet. Hats and sunscreen are also essential as there isn’t much shade available at all. There is a small snack shop where you can buy snacks and fish food. Fish food is only $.25 for half a dixie cup, or there’s a dispenser from which you can also purchase fish food for a quarter (you get a little less from the dispenser). There are no parking or entrance fees so this is a wonderful, budget-friendly excursion that your whole family will enjoy.

exploring the water at Bridal Vail Falls

exploring the terrain at the park

Julie is an OC Supermom to five beautiful children in Orange County. She is active in her children’s school, the community and enjoys running in her free time.
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