Lake Serene

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Lake Serene

Nestled beneath the snow-capped massif of Mount Index, Lake Serene offers a peace and paradise that lives up to its name. The trail begins on an old service road, but soon you will find yourself crossing trickling creeks, surrounded by a forest of mossy maples and evergreens. Roughly .5 miles into the trail there is a turnoff for Bridal Veil Falls, which is an additional .5 miles away. If you don’t have time to make the expedition to see the falls up close you’ll still have an opportunity to see them from the perch of a wooden bridge that offers scenic views of the roaring Bridal Veil Falls from below.

The trail narrows and steepens shortly after you pass the falls, giving way to stairs and switchbacks that ascend into the mountains. Be prepared for a workout: the trail gains about 1300 feet in 1.5 miles. Even if you find the climb a struggle, don’t even consider turning back. After you gain altitude you will suddenly break through the trees to find uninterrupted vistas of snowy Mount Index and the surrounding Cascades. As you make your way along the unsheltered mountainside be prepared to find deep snow and icy creek crossings. In the winter it is best to be prepared for any weather, so bring crampons and/or snowshoes for traction. The trail gradually levels out, dipping into a small basin where the Lake Serene resides, swollen with ice and snow.

Season: All season

Length: 7.2 miles

Difficulty: My crazy uncle could do it

Variety: Out and back

Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet

Highest Point: 2,521 feet

Lowest Point: 521 feet

Maps: Green Trails Map #142

Open to: hikers. Dogs allowed.

Passes and permits required: NW Forest Pass at trailhead

Driving Directions:

From 1-405 take exit 23 towards Woodinville/Wenachee/US-2. Merge onto WA-522 E and continue for 13.4 miles. Turn left onto US-2 E/Stevens Pass Highway. Follow the highway for 20.7 miles and turn right onto Mt. Index Road. Follow the dirt road for .4 miles and turn right at the first fork, following the sign for Lake Serene Trail 1068. Follow the road for 500 feet to reach the parking area.

Trailpedia Lake Serene

 

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About the author

Melissa was born and raised in the Northwest and grew up hiking in the Cascades and exploring the wild beaches of the San Juan Islands. Her first backpacking trip was a 10 day trek across the Olympic Mountains, following the Quinault River. During college she spent four months abroad in New Zealand studying writing and backpacking throughout the North and South islands. An avid hiker and outdoorswoman, Melissa is inspired by her outdoor adventures, whether they are bouldering, backpacking, hiking, trail running, scrambling, or simply setting up her hammock in the sun. After graduating from the University of Puget Sound in May 2010 Melissa has begun a career as a freelance writer and juggles painting, poetry, and writing a novel in her spare time.

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