Sunday, September 8, 2013
Burned Down Lodge above Bridal Veil Falls Hike
The Eagles Nest Lodge above Bridal Veil Falls was opened in 1967 and boasted the steepest aerial tram in the world. It had a Sky Top Restaurant, visitor's lodge, and dance hall. It was destroyed by an avalanche in 1996 and was left abandoned until finally burning down in 2008. There's not much left up there, but it is fun to look around and the view is spectacular. All that remains is the foundation, fireplace, concrete stairs, and some of the steel framework for the building and the tram.
The hike up to the lodge is not for the average adventurer. The three of us who made it up are highly experienced climbers and canyoneers. There are some climbs into the 5.9 range with a lot of exposure and nothing but sketchy hand lines for protection. There is a lot of loose rock that can be very unpredictable. The rock is also very slippery in places where there is water flowing down. I imagine the climbs would be impossible in spring and early summer when there is more water flowing down. Also climbing down is much more difficult than climbing up so make sure you have plenty of time to come down in the light. Plan for about 4 hours. Bring some water, snacks, and some webbing or old climbing rope that you can use to set up hand lines if need be.