Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls are in my top 10 must hikes in the Northwest. It’s 7.2 miles roundtrip with 23 switchbacks, strong elevation gains and a picturesque view as you get to the top of the mountain. The trail beings quietly through a groomed trail and slowly increases elevation as you head closer to Lake Serene. After about 2-3 miles in, you’ll come to a fork where you can either hike up to Bridal Veil Falls or continue towards Lake Serene. I highly recommend hiking up to the falls and cooling off by the mist coming off of the waterfall.
Tip: Make sure to bring you Northwest Forest Pass. If you don’t have, you can visit a local shack located just up the street and you can get a day pass for $5.
Location: Lake Serene (#1068) Central Cascades, Stevens Pass
West Mount Baker Snoqualmie, N 47° 47.0520, W 121° 34.3320
Roundtrip: 7.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 2000 ft
Highest Point: 2521 ft
Features: Lakes, Waterfalls, Wildflowers/Meadows, Mountain views
Required Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
From Everett, follow US 2 east to the hamlet of Gold Bar. Continue on US 2 for 7 more miles to just before it crosses the Skykomish River (near milepost 35), and turn right onto Mount Index Road. Proceed on this dirt road 0.4 mile, turning right on the spur road signed “Lake Serene Trail 1068.” The trailhead and large parking area are 500 feet farther (elev. 600 ft.). Privy available.
Difficulty Level: 4/5