Hi All, thanks for patience. Fri = 82 & sunny. We're heading where there is water!
Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls...
This is one of the highest-rated lake hikes fairly close to Seattle. It offers forest, creeks, waterfalls and a quintessential Washington Cascades alpine lake -- Lake Serene.
7.2 miles rt. 2,000 elev gain. Northwest Forest Pass required.
Bring: LOTS of water. Big lunch. Suncream. Hat. Bugspray. Bathing suit should you wish to take a dip
We need DRIVERS. Please put in comments if you are able and willing to drive.
Organizer: Joe Staiano,[masked]
Estimated Time back in Seattle: 6:30 pm
Description form WTA - Washington Trails Association
Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls compete for attention on this 7.2 mile trip. Either would be a worthy destination by themselves and combined they are a great day on the trail. From the parking lot (Northwest Forest Pass required) the trail follows an old road bordered by towering salmonberry bushes and deciduous trees. Once the trail leaves the old road bed it enters a dense forest and begins climbing. At 1.7 miles a signed trail to the right leads up to Bridal Veil Falls. It's 0.5 miles up to the falls, much of it stairs climbing steeply. The trail splits near the falls forming a loop. Stay low and to the left to get the big view of the falls, then climb the stairs along the water for a more personal and often soaking visit. Exercise caution near the water, especially with children. The creek can sweep hikers off their feet and down the hill.
Back on the main trail to Serene Lake the route crosses the creek then begins the final climb. It's a steady ascent using stairs, roots, and rocks for the final 1.5 miles gaining 1,300 feet. Keep your eyes open for patches of bunchberry and other shade-loving flowers, especially as you leave the dense forest for the sun-dappled traverse to the ridge. Once the trail crosses into the basin it's hard not to run down the hill to the lake, but stick to the trail. In an area as popular as Lake Serene it's important to practice the principles of Leave No Trace and good wilderness etiquette. Across the water the cliffs of Mt. Index rise 3,000 feet straight up and snow is piled at the base after a winter full of avalanches. Follow the trail along the shore to a huge rock perfect for a seat while you contemplate the serenity of nature.
WTA Pro Tip: Visit Bridal Veil Falls on the way to Serene Lake, don't save it for the return. It's too easy to skip the steep climb when the trailhead is so close.
From Everett, follow US 2 east to the small town of Gold Bar. Continue on Hwy 2 for seven more miles to just before it crosses the Skykomish River near milepost 35. Then, turn right onto Mount Index Road. Proceed on this dirt road for just less than half a mile, and turn right on the spur road signed "Lake Serene Trail 1068." The trailhead and large parking area are 500 feet further on.