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this is an easy to moderate hike. there was no snow until 5mins before we got to the lake.

Dec 5, 2018:
Road is snow free and in decent shape; it's actually one of the better mountain backroads we've driven on.
Trail is snow covered starting 1 mile in. It's all well compacted and well established. We wore our microspikes. There were a couple slick ice patches in the lower elevation of the trail worth noting.

hiking
15 days ago

Great trail to some nice lakes. Easy to get to, nothing strenuous, lots of board walks that could be very slippery in wet weather/light snow. We hit a dusting of snow at Beaver Lake. Past Beaver Lake is where the majority of the board walks are, so we put on our "yak-trax" and had no issue. Very lightly trafficked - we saw only 1 other couple the entire time, while at Lake Twenty-Two, that parking lot was overflowing with cars - I can't imagine how crowded that trail was.

Regarding the road: yes, monster DEEP pot-holes, they'll swallow your car, certain destruction, stay-away!!! ;^) Seriously, it appears some people expect these roads to be like a city street all the way to the trailhead. It's a FOREST ROAD for crying out loud! This is a typical FOREST ROAD with pot holes and water - the majority have that. If you have issues with potholes and water, then please stay home. Anyone with the slightest amount of common sense could easily get a Honda Civic to the trailhead with no issues.

A fairly challenging hike with one of the most beautiful alpine lakes at the top! Did this one a few years back and remember really loving it.

This is a great hike. There was Snow in the last .5 miles, but the trail is still easy to follow. There are not too many views before the top, and the Falls always underwhelm me, but Lake Serene is just beautiful, and the tall cliffs that surround it are so magnificent. The sound of snow cascading off the cliffs sound like thunder.
It is a hard hike, but worth the effort. My only reason for the 4 star is because it is a very popular hike.

Fantastic day hike - the lake was stunning with the sun coming through the peaks of the mountains. Bridal falls is an incredible bonus of this hike...trails were in good condition all the way up, but did get a bit slick towards the top as they turn into mostly rock.

hiking
26 days ago

This hike is different than other Baker hikes like Park Butte or Skyline Divide – because you start already above the treeline, most of the hike is alpine trail with dust and the occasional rockfall. A great part of the hike is that a) it offers amazing views starting 10 minutes from the parking lot, and b) it's noticeably flatter than the hikes mentioned above (though it is slightly higher in elevation). Continuing all the way to the final viewpoint, Baker is fronted by a massive valley, making the mountain feel much bigger than at Skyline Divide or Heliotrope. A great hike for someone who wants a slightly easier introduction to Baker hikes!

hiking
26 days ago

This glacier is unlike anything I've ever seen! After an hour or so of moderate climbing, you exit the treeline over several creeks. Just a few minutes later, you come across the glacier, which, even at its smallest in mid-fall, was enormous. We occasionally heard it creaking and cracking as it melted. You can continue up the hill to a flat boulder that offers the most amazing view of Baker I've ever seen, with the glacier in foreground. We continued up further to Baker base camp, which involved a lot of scrambling (we didn't have poles). While that was even better, the standard Heliotrope trail is amazing by itself.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful hike! The trail is covered in compact snow and ice the last mile. We were fine hiking up in boots, but opted to use micro spikes on the way down. Views at the top were gorgeous

hiking
28 days ago

We did this today and it was a cool and crisp day. The trail definitely gets more steep after the falls, but it's worth it to make it to the beautiful lake. Bring layers! Got hot on the way up from the exertion, but the lake area was very cold and windy. There was ice in places with some very slippery rocks near the top, which slowed our pace. I recommend poles for this very rocky trail.

hiking
28 days ago

Did this hike on 18th of November, pretty late in the season. At this point the road to the Artist Point parking lot was closed due to snowfall. You park further down which adds another 3km or 45 minutes of hiking each way. The hike was glorious, lightly trafficked at this time of the year. Due to a few days of clear sky the last 2/3rds of the trail was mostly crossing iced over snow and crampons are a must. An ice axe is a welcomed comfort. After an hour walking, around the point where the trail splits off into the Chain Lake trail snow and ice covered the trail which made it impossible to see at times, but with proper gear you can easily navigate your own trail as there are very little obstructions.

Overall not a very hard or steep trail, although the snow increases the effort a little. Absolutely gorgeous views especially with most of the crowds being absent and the snow covering the mountains. Highly recommend.

hiking
29 days ago

The trail is in very good condition. As with many other hikes in Washington, 95% of the trail is in the forest. There is one opening along the way, but the payoff really comes at the very end. The views at the end are fantastic, 360 degrees of the mountains at the top. Great views of Mt Daniel, Baring, and Glacier Peak. A neat view of Skykomish from the top as well. Snow in the last mile, but was fine with normal shoes, that may change by weeks end.

Good hike. Can be muddy in areas. Very well maintained trail.

We decided on this trail and we all enjoyed our time on the hike. Don’t stop at the lake keep following the trail and you will end up at a massive bolder you will want to see. Beautiful views make this a must do.. The falls are worth the extra steps.

Highly-recommend trail!!! There are two trails separated when walking about 40 mins. The trail starts getting harder once u finish bridal veil and set foot to Lake Serene,because there are so many rocky switchbacks and the accumulated ice makes them much harder. Watch your steps, cuz the rocks covered with ice are so slippery, and my friend even slipped three times

This was overall a moderate-ish hard hike. Like the rest of the reviewers, recommend doing the bridal veil falls first. There’s a small loop near that takes you closer to the falls and then back. The trail starts getting harder once you finish bridal veil and set foot to lake serene. With 23 switchbacks in 2 miles, this is a beast of a hike. The only thing that makes switchbacks harder is rocky switchbacks. But the trail has so many treats with little falls all over, that distracts you from your screaming knees. Quite a few creek crossings as well. Lake Serene is absolutely mind blowing. Definitely hike up to the lunch rock once you reach the lake, it’s a better view of Mt Index and Serene. The hike back down was much more challenging, this time of the year. With the rocks just having a thin layer of ice, it can get really slippery. Took me a little under 6hrs. Started at 11:15am, got to bridal veil falls by 12:15 and made it to lake Serene by 2:30. Spent about 25 mins at the lake and was back to my car by 5:00pm. There wasn’t any snow.

Hiked Saturday (11/10). Lot was about 75% full when we got there around 9:30. We did this combined with the falls. Seemed like most people just did the falls. Please be aware that the bit where it opens up from the tree line, close to the lake, is very slick and you’ll see frost around. I busted my knee, several others slipped/fell. For me, this was definitely a hard hike, especially with the slick rocks, so be sure to plan accordingly and consider the time of year. We took about 50 minutes to get to the falls, about 2hr 15min to get to the lake, and 2 hours out. It took us longer than expected, at our usual pace I predicted 4-4.5 max.

In this time the season we couldn’t get to far due to the ice over creeks. Come very very prepared for ice. Overall a great hike, just wish we could do it all. Come early and don’t start too late.

Says it is hard. Feels more moderate. We did a round trip in 4.5 hours with an 8 year old including time chilling at the lake. It's always beautiful. I also didnt see any change to the scenery from the past summer's logging that shut the trail down.

hiking
1 month ago

Worth the pain of that last incline coming home just to see these beautiful mountaintops up close and personal.

10.21.18
Very busy until the fork where we took the climbers route.

2018/10/13 Saturday (Hiking Date). Best hike. Very good views (Falls, Lake). It is a rocky trail with lot of stairs. Total of around 7.5 miles. Tip: Visit the lake first as it needs more energy and then cover 0.5 mile trail to Falls on return. Also been there in 2017. Will I go there again? Yes.

Freezing. Gorgeous peaks. Waterfall on the way. Sept 1.

im not in great shape so this was tough for me. im glad i did the falls first because i was exhausted by the time a got back down from the lake. it was soo worth it though. im used to doing hikes during the week so very surprised at the amount of people. a message to anyone who is on the hefty side, "you can do it." although it might take you longer and bring lots of water.

Great trail, the falls are definitely a must on the way to the lake. It didn't feel as though as we thought it would be. It was crazy busy so that kinda took away from the magic.

BEAUTIFUL! This is a must do hike. Fairly gradual so take the whole family with you too! Love love loved it. We didn’t do the entire thing because it was crazy busy but we will be back!

Perfect day today for this gorgeous trail. A little harder than Joffre Lake trail.

Fantastic trail! the falls is a quick and easy trip and you should definitely make the side 0.5mile visit. catch it in the fog and be ready for amazing pictures.
the lake requires much more work, not hard but persistent elevation gain through a mostly well kept trail with wide-breasted stairs throughout. plenty of things to look at along the way not just boring dirt. the lake itself was clouded out for me but still awesome to be up there.

Hiked Heliotrope today, October 7, 2018. It was absolutely beautiful, even with the little bit of rain that was falling throughout the day the streams are totally passible without getting wet if you start early enough. The glaciers were still viewable with mild fog in the distance, no view of Baker. A little muddy on the trail due to the rain, but other than that it was absolutely stunning. I highly recommend getting this one in before the weather completely changes over!

Nice fall hike. Oct 7. Hiked to Bridal Falls then to lake Serene. Total mileage is about 8.4 miles. Started at 1115am, was in my car at 315pm. With maybe 25min spent at the falls and 25 min at the lake.

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