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16 days ago

Royal Basin is the finest alpine area in the Dungeness watershed.Streams cross the trail regularly.In the southeast corner of the basin it's not to difficult to gain the top of Royal ridge.The view over the basin is magnificent.I like to drop in to Milk Creek and go over to the other side of Milk Creek basin,over to an magnificent viewpoint for Warrior,Mt.Con stance and Inner Constance.Some steep snow often.

My college buddy and I did this hike in early May 2017. We drove from the Hoh Rainforest to the Quinault Wilderness Information center to get the permit and a bear canister (about an 1.5hr drive). We waited for about 20 minutes until a ranger showed up. After that we drove to Graves Creek Trailhead to park the car and begin the hike (50 min drive along some dirt roads through the rainforest). We most likely started the hike around 11:00AM and planned to hike to the valley in one day. The trail is amazing and passes glacial blue water and thick rainforests. We really were enjoying the hike however because we needed to get to the campground before dark (really darkness in the rainforest comes faster than the sunset due to the trees and mountains blocking the sun) we really only stopped a few times for no more than 10-20min. Due to this, our hike did feel somewhat tiring especially between O'Neill and Pyrites. From Pyrites to the Gate is probably when we were the most exhausted because we kept up a really fast pace for most of the day. During this part of the hike we did see three black bears, 2 out of the 3 were decently far from the trail wandering by the river. However probably about a 0.3 mile from the Gate where the bridge is we saw a large male black bear. This bear was no further than 15 yards from us and standing directly next to the trail. To say we were nervous was an understatement since this large male black bear never took his eyes off us, was super tense, and did walk towards us at some points. Once we passed the gate we felt a little calmer and we could see the valley ahead. This valley was one the most amazing locations either of us had been to before. In early May the waterfalls were rushing down from the mountains and the peaks were snow-capped. We were there on a Sunday and there were no campers anywhere so we had the whole valley to ourselves. We set up our campsite on a ridge next to the river near the chalet. We then saw some more bears wandering around the valley, one bear stayed with us all night but never looked up from eating the grass which was a relief. At some points the melting snow caused small avalanches to roar down the waterfalls which was something I had never witnessed before. A tip for anyone going to the valley in early May; make sure to bring some camp wood even though it will weigh down your pack because we are in a rainforest so much of the wood is very damp and hard to light. We set up our tent, lit a fire, and just marveled at this valley until the sun finally set in the distance. The next morning we rose a little before sunrise to get an early hike out of the valley. This was a great idea because when the sunrise hits Mount Anderson and the other snow covered peaks you are hit with a truly spectacular sight. After this we began the hike back (a little depressed to leave and definitely not looking forward to the 15 miles back with our packs on). On this hike we saw one more black bear and to top it off we saw a massive herd of Roosevelt elk grazing between Pyrites creek and O'neill camp. The hike back definitely didn't feel as tough as the hike there because we had a slower pace, I do have to say that by the end you will feel tired especially when you hike up the steep hill after Pony Bridge. Overall this was definitely our favorite hike in Olympic. You get rainforests, glacial rivers, waterfalls, mountains, elk and bear. If we were ever to do go back I'd say we would try to break the hike up into a three day hike instead of doing 30 miles in two days with all our gear on us! Definitely would recommend this hike to any backpacker.

DO NOT TRY THIS HIKE IF YOUR NOT PREPARED , it's easy to loose track and it is a hard hike , got lost twice and turned back half way .
there are no humans along the way and it's pure forest packed with a lot and a lot of snow .
I will give it another try during summer time when there is more day light .

closed to public use from 02/08/18 to 07/01/18 .
what a bummer I drove all the way up here from Seattle for this hike only to find out that it is closed .
am trying to save your time .

Trail is closed to the public for lodging from 02/08/18 to 07/08/18.

Did the falls and ran into about 4 inches of snow, tried going up to the lake and had to turn around about 1/2 mile from the top due to waist deep snow.

We did just the Serene lake and the last mile was really hard with too much snow and icy. It was pretty much drizzling the whole time so couldn’t enjoy the hike as such. The beat part was the crackling sound of the ice and the avalanche effect of snow falling down from the mountain.

1 month ago

This was a five star day despite our failure to reach the lake. The route from Stevens Pass is my favorite of the two. There was just so much snow to break through as well as a few creek crossings This was one of the earlier snow shoes our group did so some became a little tired. I will finish this hike this season though!

This hike probably deserves more stars in the summer as these lakes are quite beautiful. Its really hard to access the lake with snow shoes as there are many obstacles in the final stretch creating hazards. Its a great workout and it was a fun hike as well. We broke trail and burned some calories. I would drive a little further and do Lake Valhalla from Stevens Pass instead. Its about a mile longer each way but a better hike in my eyes.

This is definitely more in the 16 mile range. Started about 8:30 AM and returned to the trailhead just after 5 PM. Moved pretty swiftly with a few stops for layering and about a half hour for lunch. Trail is in great condition. Don't underestimate the final 1.5 - 2 miles on the way up (and down for that matter). Steep and tricky footing, very time consuming. Absolutely worth the hike!!

Went this morning and there weren’t too many people since I️t was raining when we arrived at about 10:30. The water isn’t as bad on the trail as I️t was a few weeks ago the streams have died down a bit. Closer to the lake there is compact snow on the trail and micro spikes would be very useful. I did see people without them but they were sliding quit a bit. Beautiful hike overall

Night hike for Astro Photography. Used micro spikes at the top. Beautiful as always...even in the dark.

Very pleasant hike - we did this in July and the weather was just about perfect. We camped in Grave's Creek, hit the trail at around 8 or 9 in the morning and made it to the chalet by 4pm with no rush and a plenty of stops along the way. The hike starts with a little bit of a climb (not very steep or long, mind you) but beyond that, the going is quite easy. If you want to camp at the chalet (like we did), the trail is actually shorter than the advertised 15miles and you lose the steep climb at the very end, making this a fairly moderate hike with a wonderful valley at the end and some nice forest and river sections along the way. On the way back, heading out of the chalet campsite early, you have a great chance of seeing wildlife before other hikers scare it off. Never saw a bear though...
All in all, this is a lovely hike, very worth doing if you get the chance!

Last 2 miles up to lake Serene you need microspikes, but it's completely worth it. the lake is just bright blue when it's frozen and surround by snow covered mountains. We listened and watch small avalanches happening on the mountains all around the lake. It was magnificent but be careful.

2 months ago

Did this as a day hike with a buddy. Other than me being a dumb dumb with new inserts it was a great trip. It was kind of chilly and windy so bugs were at a minimum. Stopped at the lower camp and was roomy as far as places to park gear but was hard to find water and good camp things. Upper camp much better for finding things like that and camping spots were pretty big and seemed to be enough. I would pay to stay up there. Didn’t make it to the lake at the top but that was my own fault. Early September

We just did a day hike just a bit past O’Neill Creek and turned back. There are a good amount of camp sites in the area, and a large one right by O’Neill Creek. We were there in July 2017 and there was a black bear and her cubs right on the trail!

Just hiked Lake Serene 12/29/17. Right from the start there are several overflowing creeks you have to cross so make sure you come prepared with waterproof boots or be prepared to suck it up! :) I’ve hiked Lake Serene twice in the snow before and three times during the summer. The trail does eventually pass right by the bottom of some run off of Bridal Veil Falls and there’s no way to keep going to the top without passing through a large creek/ giant winds/ and water in the air that the water fall produces. Normally, there’s just a small pool of water coming off of the rocks, but with all of the rain from the past few days, there was an enormous amount of water coming off of the rocks. (Definitely the highlight of our hike though). Microspikes are necessary about 75% of the way up the hike. The trail starts to get icy/slushy. Unfortunately, we got caught on time and couldn’t make it to the top because we didn’t want to get caught in the dark. I’m sure it was truly Serene at the top!

This hike was pretty tough but overall the views were incredible. We went when the lake was frozen over and it was an amazing experience and well worth hiking through rain and light snow

Three years ago. This was my wife and I first time snowshoeing, what a trip! We want to go back during the spring to hike our path to see the difference between snow and trail. Most fun we have every had snowshoeing. Not recommended for a first timer, we were lucky during the winter time and were a couple of greenhorns as they come. Read up on area difficulty and know what your getting into. Awesome place to go!!

Hiked on 12/22 - went to Bridal Falls then up to the lake. The snow made everything look amazing. Snow was packed pretty well and didn’t need spikes on the way up. Had lunch on lunch rock and it got really chilly. Bring layers for the temperature change. Put spike on to go down for maybe half a mile then it was easy. Would definitely come back in the summer time.

First half of the trail is pretty easy but the second half makes up for it. The trail was in great shape yesterday(12/23) with about a foot of snow at the top. Trail was well broke in so spikes for the last half mile or so are good to have and definitely good for the hike back down. I took the trail up to bridal veil falls on my way back and it was totally worth it. The falls were half frozen which made for some cool pictures.

Hiked on 12/11 conditions were snowy/icy at top and Lake Serene was frozen. It was a great hike nevertheless

not for the faint of heart! the trail is steep, but well worth it. definitely the hardest trail I've done to date. it's rocky and definitely icy at the top. i slipped and fell towards the top, but once I put my microspikes on it was easy to cross. the lake is frozen over and you can hear avalanches in the distance. over all worth the pain you endure getting there.

I'm so sad I didn't make it to the lake! Got a late start and in December it's crucial to time hikes so you aren't stuck walking back in the dark. I'm an out of towner so next time I will shoot for the whole trail. There's a sign that says the park is closed until 2018. I just called the park ranger and she had said it's ok. Be careful with the snow on the way up!

3 months ago

good day hike, broke half of the trail in two-three feet deep snow to the lake.

Trail was surprisingly empty. Lower trail is in good condition, not very muddy, lots of fallen leaves. There are several stream crossings. As you go up its a quick transition to snow, not icey. We used micro spikes which made the snow easy to maneuver through.

I did about 15 hikes this summer and this might have been my favorite. Absolutely beautiful. Went last Tuesday. You start off going through the forest which reminded me a little of the Hoh Rain Forest with all the moss. I decided to hike up to the Bridal Veil Falls first. It was slippery getting up there (used my cross-trainers) as the trail was mostly rock. But the view is incredible. The falls are much bigger in person then the photos suggested. I then continued on the main path to Serene Lake. It was pretty steep in some sections but wasn't as bad as I thought. Mount Si is definitely harder. The trail does get slippery at the end as you get closer to the lake. Lake Serene is incredible with Mount Index behind it. I enjoyed this view way more then Frozen Lake. The reflection and clearness of the water was incredible. After an hour I headed back down. Be careful because the trail is very slippery rock when heading back down. But just an incredible hike with incredible views.

Absolutely beautiful and a lot of fun. Brought my kids age 4 and 6 years- it was a little more than a 4 year old is happy with but my 6 year old was great. I like the uphill on the way out for my kids as it makes coming back easier. The fall colors were great and highly recommend.

Fantastic trail it is part of the famous PCT . The lake is beautiful !

The views are great and the lake feels amazing! I went the end of summer, so the water wasn't too bad. I highly recommend! Just beware of the 20,000 switchbacks!!

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