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Lake Serene

trail to Lake Serene
Distance (both ways): around 7.2 miles (11.5km)
Elevation gain: 2,000ft (610m)
Green Trails Map: 142
Passes: Northwest Forest Pass required to park a car near the trailhead

Useful Info

This hike is accessible from Rt 2. Coming from Seattle, turn right immediately after the 35 mile post. Very quickly you will come to a large parking lot. The entire trip is along the Lake Serene Trail (#1068) -- its page contains driving directions to the trailhead. Also, don't forget to check the trail conditions (you have to scroll half way down the page to trail #1068) or the weather forecast.

Some people choose not to follow the trail all the way to Lake Serene and instead, turn right after 1.7 miles and go up a little while to the Bridal Veil Falls lookout. The point where the trail splits is marked though the sign is small by comparison to others and rather faded. Other than that, the trail is very clearly marked.

After the trail split, the leg leading to Lake Serene first drops down and crosses over two strands of the Bridal Veil (there is a bridge over one of them). After that, the trail becomes steeper but it is quite easy to hike becauese all the steep places have stairs (rock or wooden). The trail appears to be very well maintained.

The lake itself is small but quite spectacular. Across it you will see a 2,000ft wall of Mt. Index. Really imposing. The only trouble is that there is relatively little space by the shores of the lake.

Other Sources

My Trip

I hiked to Lake Serene on a Saturday of the Memorial Day Weekend. Although it was raining, the trail was very busy (on my way down I counted at least three dozen people hiking up). Starting early seems to be a good idea if you want some space to yourself by the lake.

I went there again in June of 2006, this time getting much better view! Have a look at my pictures and a brief trip report.

Below are some of our pictures from the hike. Click on any of them to see the larger version.


Lush green of the lower part of the trail
May 29, 2004
picture by Krzysztof Gajos

Lush green of the lower part of the trail


Bridal Veils
May 29, 2004
picture by Krzysztof Gajos



Bridal Veils
May 29, 2004
picture by Krzysztof Gajos

Bridal Veils



On the trail
May 29, 2004
picture by Krzysztof Gajos

On the trail
clouds were hanging low and engulfed the upper part of the trail


A big log under a waterfall
May 29, 2004
picture by Krzysztof Gajos

A big log under a waterfall


Meadows close to the lake
May 29, 2004
picture by Krzysztof Gajos

Meadows close to the lake



Bridal Veils
May 29, 2004
picture by Krzysztof Gajos

Bridal Veils
before they pick up speed


Clouds over Lake Serene
May 29, 2004
picture by Krzysztof Gajos

Clouds over Lake Serene


Where Mt. Index should have been
May 29, 2004
picture by Krzysztof Gajos

Where Mt. Index should have been



Lake Serene
May 29, 2004
picture by Krzysztof Gajos

Lake Serene
As seen from the lunch rock


Drift wood
May 29, 2004
picture by Krzysztof Gajos

Drift wood
where the water leaves Lake Serene to plunge down as Bridal Veils



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