Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls Trail
Just over an hour northeast of Seattle, the Lake Serene Trail offers a fantastic escape from the bustle of the city. Its verdant forest, big peaks and strenuous climbs beckon hikers to take a dip in the frigid alpine lake at the top, an experience not to shy away from. There's a good reason Lake Serene is so popular, so pack a lunch and claim your spot on the lakeshore or massive boulder nicknamed Lunch Rock, a perfect spot to dive into the crystalline waters (just don't test the temp before taking the plunge!).
The drive to the trailhead is pretty straightforward, just past the town of Gold Bar and near the turnoff for the town of Index on U.S. Route 2 (known locally as highway 2). Because of the popularity of this trail, parking can be difficult on summer weekends.
The trailhead begins on an old logging road at the right hand corner of the parking lot as you drive in, and soon turns into a trail through dense forest. A sign at 1.7 miles indicates the righthand turn to Bridal Veil Falls half a mile up, a worthy hike in its own right. Back on the main trail, the route continues to gain elevation for another 1.5 miles until hikers reach the lake basin. It's common to see snow piled at the far end of the lake, well into the summer.
The area within a quarter mile of Lake Serene is day-use only, with no established campsites.
Make sure to display your Northwest Forest Pass in the parking lot.
Lake Serene is a fairly challenging hike, though strong little hikers will undoubtedly enjoy the falls along the way (use caution), and Lake Serene itself.
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