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Trail starts out pretty level and easy but quickly turns to rocks and stairs after the falls. We left the lot at 2pm and arrived at the top to see that the sun was behind the mountains and the lake entirely shaded. Plan to come back at sunrise to photograph the lake with sun. Super great hike

Loved this hike! Probably one of my favorites in Washington so far. Got to the trailhead at 1030 on a Tuesday & the lot was only a quarter full.
It’s rated as hard for a reason, all up hill, but oh so worth it! Be sure to wear shoes with great grip because the entire trail is basically rocks covered in moss & moisture and the last .5 mile is muddy.
Can’t wait to go back in the winter to see this lake covered in snow!

Beautiful hike! You can hear streams and see waterfalls all throughout the hike. Get here early, the parking lot is full by 10:30 on the weekend. Lots of families and people hiking on the weekend but still did not feel crowded.

Ass-kicker.

hiking
3 days ago

A few too many people for my liking. Hard hike but the view was pretty.

hiking
3 days ago

This was my very first hike and the fellas and i really had no idea what we were in for .. If you aren't a regular hiker (like myself) and aren't in top shape , be prepared to push yourself harder than you ever have . The trail was beautiful, the views were beautiful . There are some very steep areas that will test your quads . Personally i had to take lots of little breaks to let my legs recharge . It was hard mentally and physically to accomplish but well worth it in the end. It was a great accomplishment. It was just under 12 km from where we Parked so about 23.5 km round trip ! My biggest regret was not having buying hiking poles.. it WILL save your legs

Amazing hike, it should be on your list to do in Washington! There was a lot of amazing waterfalls, fallen trees, the mountains were breathtaking and Lake Serene was just gorgeous! I went on a rainy Sunday and it wasn’t very crowded, also it was easy to find parking (even if you go a little late).

hiking
4 days ago

It looks like they are working on the road to the trailhead. All types of vehicles are able to make it to the parking lot and trailhead. Very nice paved road until you get about 12 miles from trailhead. From there, no big rocks/ruts, but very washboard! I drove very slow much of the way in a Corolla, some people cruised by going 30mph. Very nice trailhead area with bathrooms. It was full with about 20 cars along road as we left.
4.4 miles, 2 hours roughly to lake, another .5 miles to the far end of lake.
Dress for fall, on our way back, saw people going up in shorts, tank tops, sandals, and little gear. They were already looking and commenting on being cold. It was cool and breezy at the lake.
No mountain goats out today.
Didn’t catch any fish. Had a bite. Tried some slow spinning flies, spinners, and power bait. We’ll have to do more research before fishing there again.

Hard, steep but the view is worth it. The incline is almost throughout the whole trail. There are benches to sit at 2-3 places along the trail.

We went there Labor Day a few days after the trail had reopened. Parking was abundant at 830 am. Trail was well maintained. Glad we stopped at Bridal Veil first otherwise I don’t think we would have stopped in the way down from Lake Serene. Both were very pretty breathtaking. Wonderful hike!

Great hike! was apprehensive to do old trail....but we made it in 3 hours and would gladly do the old trail again on the way up. Took the new trail on the way down... very well groomed but long. But was a knee saver. Well worth it and would do it again.

A tough hike but well worth it once you leave the switchbacks and forests behind. The views of the surrounding mountains is the warm up for getting to see Blanca Lake. It truly is worth the gruel and I will do it again when the seasons change in a few weeks. Two things 1) Don't give up and 2) coming down takes half the time it takes to get up.

hiking
10 days ago

Trash Everywhere!

First I need to say how disappointed I am with the hikers using Washington trails! I watched volunteers spending an entire day cleaning trash from this one trail. It took a team of people the entire day to pick up trash that should never have been left in the first place. Very Sad.

If your going to hike this or any other Washington State trail take your trash out with you. If you see some disrespectful hiker leaving trash say something.

And to all you pet owners! If your dog poops don’t put it in a bag and toss the bag off the trail. Seriously, what is wrong with you people.

If you can’t show respect for other hikers and the environment, stay off the trail.

This is the second most beautiful thing I've seen this year! The first was female so I don't think that's a fair comparison. I had to hold back my emotions, I'm a man of course, I was just not prepared for how stunning this lake was in person. This is something you must see for yourself.

The lake is not made of a non-nutonian fluid, I tried walking on it and I sank.That's how my pictures came out so awesome!

If you're not quite sure if you have bad knees or not... You'll definitely know after this hike! LOL

Don't forget to see the falls at the end of the trail. I got in the water to take some pictures from the other side.

Great trail. The trail starts out really easy until you reach the fork either to Bridleveil or Lake Serene. Choose wisely.... actually the dynamic are close to the same except the falls is a way shorter hike. When you head up to the lake the incline increases and switchbacks and big stair steps for a while. Worth the sore legs afterwards. I went to Serene first then the falls on the way down. There is bathrooms at the trailhead and the lake. The lake is beyond gorgeous. Got there at 5am of course no cars. Got back down around 11:30am parking lot was packed.

Beautiful! I’ve done the bridal veil falls many times, I very excited to do the lake trail this time. It was worth it for how hard the incline of stairs was! The water has an amazing emerald bluish color. And we hung out there for a while. I totally recommend it! My discover pass didn’t cover this area, must be a northwest forest pass!

Great hike. The last two miles up to the lake are a challenge, steep and very rocky, but there's enough points along the trail with fantastic views to keep you motivated. The lake itself, and the towering cliffs behind it, are spectacular and very worth the effort. We started at 8am and still had quite a few people up top with not much room at all along the water, so if you want to find a place of your own to sit and eat lunch, be prepared for for a little disappointment and plenty of human interaction.

11 days ago

The hike is beautiful. Very worthwhile, and lots of stunning views. That said, real talk-- Several people said it took them around ~5 hrs RT, or that it was more 'moderate' etc. but just for some perspective, I'm a short legged hiker from the lowlands and this hike took me more like 7-8 hours. I'd say the trail was 80% easy to follow, but the last mile is real rocky and marked mostly with stone towers-- I definitely had to pay attention and got turned around more than once. The other parts of the trail are really well maintained though. The last section requires some scrambling (again, short-legged hiker-- maybe the grasshopper legs out there had another experience, but for me it was quite a bit of scrambling.) My phone also tracked 13.4 miles, rather than the 8.8 listed here. Part of that was walking to the trail head (cause I had to park a bit away) and some of that was getting lost from the trail :) But I would still say that 11-12 miles is closer to the truth? The lake is beautiful, and the last few miles of the hike are well worth the effort . For me I would say the 'hard' ranking was pretty on point (although I'd probably go more with 'a nice challenge' than 'hard' as a ranking, because I was enjoying myself and things aren't usually hard when you enjoy yourself.) Obviously, perception of difficulty is contingent on lots of things, but for the sake of perspective, if you're a short-legged, leisure hiker, like myself, this one may challenge you a bit ;-)

Solid- gorgeous forest hike. 3300 feet of gain is no joke, so plan accordingly. Bring Lots of water/food. Route finding in the rocky section is patchy, stick to the trails on the edges of the rocks. Haystack access trail is a bit hard to find, but just head to the right from the face and you’ll find it. Haystack scramble is a solid class 3, with patches of class 4 depending on your route. On busy days (Saturday’s) a helmet might be a good idea to mitigate possible rocks from above. Gorgeous views from the top. Downhill is a bit rough on the legs, but not too bad. Good stuff!

Overall hike was enjoyable. Beautiful scenery along the way, but no great payout at the end. A small-children version would be to hike one mile in to the double waterfall and follow the short trail down to the beach by the river and waterfalls.

Good little hike. Steeper at the beginning and the end. I thought the view from the top was ok...not breathtaking, but definitely very nice.

Make sure you allow time for the breaks you might need on the incline switchbacks and the break you will surely want when you get to the gorgeous lake. Lunch Rock was a perfect spot to drink your wine and eat your lunch while viewing the snow packs, trees and jagged rocks reflecting off the lake.

hiking
12 days ago

Watch out for bees, they were pretty feisty. Also, ran into a mama mountain goat and her baby.

hiking
13 days ago

This trail is very difficult but worth the effort! I would recommend going on a weekday and starting early in the morning. We started at 8:45am and arrived at the lake at 12:00pm. (I took several short breaks along the way!) We spent about an hour at the lake relaxing and refueling. The trip back was almost as difficult as getting to the lake. Because of the steep incline, it can be hard on the knees. The blueberry bushes are ripe and ready to eat along the trail. The mosquitoes and flies were out but not too bothersome. This is definitely a trail that shouldn’t be passed up.

Nice hike. Went there after seeing the crowd at Rattlesnake Ledge (yikes!). This trail was somewhat busy but nothing like Rattlesnake! Only complaint is that at the top of the climb there’s only a small area for sitting & viewing & not much shade. Lots of shade on the trail though.

So hard. So beautiful..

hiking
14 days ago

A moderate hike. Good to go with kid on back (3 year old / 30 pounds). Parts of it can be steep, but overall manageable. Some switchbacks later in the hike. Gave me a feeling of entering the Jurassic world - dunno why :)
Limited space up top for larger groupss and views are nothing fantastic, but at least something.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked Mount Si for the first time today. Great hike!! I got to the rock pile in 2 hours and chose not to climb the haystack. The views were beautiful and there weren’t many people on the trail today. Downhill was definitely the harder (more painful) part for me. Took me almost the same amount of time to return because I had to stop to rest my knees.

hiking
15 days ago

Really fun hike, it's a pretty mixed challenge. Once you get past the steep first portion, it's pretty mild and more trail-like until you get to the end. Be careful for bees/wasps, they were in a frenzy when I visited and I saw two people getting stung, and another young kid walking back on the trail with his parents who got stung.

Finally to all the dog owners who take their pups hiking... PICK UP AND DISPOSE OF YOUR DOG'S POOP, AND IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE THAT... KEEP YOUR DOG AT HOME. I saw at least 8 dog bags left on the trail in various spots. Really people, do you think the dog poop fairy going to take care of that for you? Clean up your shit, or leave the dog at home. Respect our mother earth and leave the trail better than you found it.

backpacking
15 days ago

A 50 lbs pack on this hike was a real leg burner but worth it. We camped 2 nights and 3 days. The downside is that we got stuck in a constant rain+wind storm for 2 days and couldn’t see more than 30 feet in front of us. The the views were of a gray cloud that we were stuck in. Upside, bears and bugs don’t like that weather so no run in’s, ha. I have an inReach Garmin and kept holding onto hope for Monday, our last morning, since the weather report kept updating at 0% chance rain. It did finally blow out and I’ll admit, seeing that happen was almost worth the storm. Once the sun finally pierced through the clouds, it was amazing. Then it took about an hour for the cloud cover to blow away and reveal why the North Cascades are my favorite. Photos don’t do it justice, you just have to come and see for yourself. Just don’t be a jerk, pack out what you pack in and no fires. The plant life up here is like a PNW rainforest. It’s gorgeous and there are also tons of wild blueberries around. We got to spend 3 hours exploring around which was great. We all had tent fever pretty bad and needed to stretch out minds and our legs. I’m just happy we were able to see the endless sea of Cascades before heading down. We were also stoked that we didn’t have to scramble down wet and muddy rocks. I will say that the scramble area is way longer than posted on here. It wasn’t constant but there were scrambles for the last mile. Some of them were so high that my full pack top touched what I was climbing. Trekking poles and hiking boots are a must, and not worn down hiking boots, you’ll need good outsoles. Also, the split from Barlow trail to Gothic Basin happens a little before what’s posted on here. The original trail is unsafe, looked like a tree fell through. They made a new trail to connect over, just follow the wooden sign that says “Gothic Basin” and ignore your preloaded maps. I use OnX, it lets you preload high resolution maps for offline use. They’re better than my Garmin maps. Definitely bring a bear canister or ursack. There was a warning sign saying they “strongly discouraged camping” at Barlow pass, which is the trail you begin on. Apparently it’s a bear hangout and the trial head where you park, bears have gotten into vehicles and aren’t easily scared off. So while Gothic Basin isn’t Barlow pass, they share the same parking and part of the trail and it’s still bear country. So be smart. Do your research and enjoy the view! It’s worth every bit of leg burn.

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