Lake Serene - Bridal Veil Falls
Aug 07, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Lake Serene - Bridal Veil Falls
- Region: Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
- Agency: Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest - Skykomish Ranger District
- Trails: Lake Serene (#1068)
- Avg Rating: 4.44
remain, and they are not far above us at the trailhead, where ours is the first car in the lot.
My hiking buddy Marin and I start out at a leisurely pace. Those low shrubs that grow close to the trail sport a bumper crop of orange flowers this year, and the bridge at the first stream crossing is new since last we were here.
At the trail fork, where one branch goes to Bridal Veil Falls and the other to Lake Serene, a prankster has added an additional digit "1" to the sign. The mileage to the lake now appears to be an improbable 12 miles. But no worries, it's still just a bit over 2. (Marin, with a smile, suggests we could add another "1" to make it 112, but of course we don't.)
We begin the climb toward the lake in earnest, up the many stony sections and steep stairs, and soon we are in the cloud layer. This makes for a cool, if somewhat humid, ascent, and the rocks and trees have a special character of their own when viewed in this cloudy setting.
As we pass the last of the 25 switchbacks the sky seems brighter, and we begin to see blue patches. Soon the cliffs of Mt. Index appear ahead of us, in bright sunlight. We are above the cloud layer!
We press on to the Lunch Rock. It's 9:30 AM. We have the lake all to ourselves, and will for the next hour and a half.
We try to take in all the view. The cliffs above us are very imposing. It's difficult to spot the many tiny waterfalls cascading down, but their sound is a constant here.
After about an hour we begin to notice some mist blowing in across the surface of the lake. The breeze has picked up, and apparently is bringing in a bit of cloud. The mist comes and goes more than once. Eventually, a more significant cloud layer blows in, completely obscuring the view across the lake. This too is temporary, and our view is restored, and least for a while. But the clouds do threaten to return.
At 11 AM we decide to start back down, and only at this point do we begin to hear approaching voices. It's good timing for us, and also for the first of the new arrivals. But on our way back down to the trailhead we encounter a multitude of additional hikers: 30? 40? We lose count. We are so glad for our early start, and wonder if these late comers will see the lake in the sun at all today.