About This Blog

This is yet another incarnation of my personal blog. Here's where you can read about what I do when I'm not at work: hiking, seeing plays and other shows, eating, traveling, etc.

Popular Posts

TR: Lake Serene

Posted by gck Sunday, July 6, 2014

Distance: 7.2 miles
Elevation gain: 2000 feet
Trailhead directions and more on WTA.

IMG_7013  IMG_7154
Creek waterfalls

Lake Serene was my first “big hike” in the Pacific Northwest (I decided Wallace Falls didn’t qualify) and got me started on an addiction that now takes over my summer and fall months. So when I had two new hikers coming with me on a weekday hike, this one seemed like a natural choice. This was my third time doing this hike (2008 and 2010 were the others), and I’ve always gone during the early part of the summer, since this is one of the earlier hikes to become snow free. It’s a popular hike – on a weekday, we saw way more people than I encountered at Koppen the past weekend. I’ve heard that the lot overflows and becomes a parking nightmare on the weekends, so best to get an early start.

IMG_7016  IMG_7084
Left: the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls
Right: Lake Serene’s turquoise water

There’s plenty to see on this hike. There are several nice mini waterfalls when the trail hits a creek, but the real star is Bridal Veil Falls, a towering waterfall that cascades down like… a bride’s veil. There’s a short side hike that gets you to the falls, but I’ve never taken it. Maybe next time. After the falls, the real climbing begins. Switchbacks and what I call the “stairs section.” I remember cursing the stairs the first time on this trail, but now I’m thankful for them, having experienced how difficult a rough uphill trail can be. A lot of people were struggling through this section, and I heard someone say that there were about 26 switchbacks and that we were still on the third. Hah!

View from the trail

Fortunately, the rewards come before the lake. After climbing for awhile, we broke out of the forest and had nice views of the surrounding peaks. Then not long after, Mount Index came into view, and we knew we were near. Many people were content to sit by the lake at the closest access point, but a better place to sit and take in the view (if you can convince your legs to go up a few more stairs) is at Lunch Rock. There were also some people who crossed the boulderfield to the right of Lunch Rock and went part way around the lake for solitude, but we were content with Lunch Rock. We watched people jump in the lake and immediately regret it. I climbed down to the lakeside and dipped my feet in just to see – painfully cold! I hoped for sunnier weather, but the lake’s color was still as beautiful as ever.

Lake Serene


Post a Comment