Though rather generic and commonplace, Bridal Veil Falls is an apt title for this exceptionally scenic 180-foot tall waterfall along Hearty Creek. While perhaps not embodying the concept of a "Veil" quite as well as two or three of the other waterfalls in Washington which bear the same name, the lacy spreading shape of the falls, beginning as a narrow sliding flume and then spreading into thousands of individual droplets as it cascades down the cliff face lends immediately to the name which was bestowed upon it. The falls consist of two primary drops, the larger and upper tier falls 151 feet into a grotto behind a large wall of bedrock which partially obstructs the falls from view. The creek then bends out from behind the wall and drops another 29 feet into a small pool. Two more smaller falls exist below here, about 5 and 10 feet respectively but we opted to not count these drops as part of the falls as they are separated by some distance from the rest of the falls. Immediately below the final 10-foot drop of Hearty Creek below the main falls lies one of the most exceptional swimming holes in the North Cascades.
Hearty Creek drains from a moderate-sized basin on the south end of the Twin Sisters Mountain massif. The stream heads in Heart Lake but is not fed by any permanent snow or ice, so once the winter snow pack has melted away the stream will shrink in volume considerably. While there is still snow melting, however, the falls can swell to an impressively violent size. Unfortunately, because of seasonal wildlife gate closures from November 1 to June 30 along FSR #12 used to access the falls, it may not necessarily be possible to access the falls while it is flowing at its peak levels.
- Bridal Veil Falls is the Historical name of this waterfall.
Bridal Veil Falls seems to have been discovered in June 1884 by a group exploring the headwaters of the South Fork of the Nooksack River led by L.L. Bales and M. Denehie. Journals from the expeditions specifically called out the falls by name and made the distinct note that it was prominently visible from the gravel bars along the river. This might suggest that the falls were discovered at an earlier date, but as much of the Nooksack headwaters seems to have been explored by L.L. Bales he may still be credited with discovering and naming the falls.
From Interstate 5 in Burlington follow Highway 20 east to the Baker Lake Road, and then go just over 12 miles and turn left onto FSR #12, signed for Schriebers Meadows and Mount Baker Recreation Area. Follow Road 12 for just over 12 miles, following signs pointing to the South Fork Nooksack River and Elbow Lake at all major junctions. Immediately after passing Loomis Mountan Falls on the right, bear left and downhill on an unsigned road and follow it to its end at a bridge crossing the South Fork Nooksack River. Cross the bridge and look for a boot path leading down to the river on the other side. The falls are found about one-third of a mile up the river from this bridge. There is no trail to the falls but as far as bushwhacks go it's a fairly easy trek. The easiest route to the falls involves walking right up the river bed, which will involve crossing several channels of the river (water will not likely be more than knee deep, but usually just ankle deep). Follow the gravel bars and hug the left bank as much as possible. The falls are visible from where Hearty Creek empties into the river. To get close to the base of the falls, scramble up the right side of the creek from the swimming hole (only attempt this at low water though). Bridal Veil Falls will be inaccessible from November 1 to June 30 every year due to a wildlife gate closure at Loomis Pass along FSR #12.