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This must be one of my favorite, if not "the" favorite hike - it has really just about everything: an adventurous drive to the trail-head (more on that later), a forest to start your hike in, a lush mountain meadow, plenty of snow-fields (mid July) all the way to a rock-scrambling part to the lookout at the end. And the views, oh my, the views. Going up, they are beautiful already but once you make it to the ridge that will get you to the lookout, you're in for a real treat. I just wish we had known that it was possible to stay overnight in the lookout - sunset and sunrise must be absolutely stunning from there.
The hike itself is not easy and the last part would be tough for people with vertigo but otherwise we didn't think it was too difficult. It's easily manageable in an afternoon even if you take plenty of time to soak in the views at the top. We saw a bear and a pica rabbit too.
Oh, and I almost forgot, the drive. I saw cars parked at the trail-head that had pretty low clearance, so it must be possible to get there in just about anything but I was really happy that we took a rental 4WD SUV. The forest road is quite steep in places and littered with potholes large enough to break your axle in, so having a higher clearance vehicle comes in handy.
Overall, if there is just one hike you are going to do in this part of the park, make it this one!

Great trail - steep but worth the climb. Microspikes are a must now, poles would have been nice too. Definitely a little windy up in the boulder field, but totally doable.

Old trail up. Great workout. Packed snow in a trail too narrow for snowshoes. Summit is snow covered rocks and boulders so can’t use snowshoes there either. A bit icy towards the top, I had yaktrax but I wish I’d had microspikes. Ok the new rail down, seems long with lots of switchbacks. My favorite hike in the PNW so far.

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.

1 month ago

Went up the old trail. Rain all the way, snow at the top. A semi whiteout at the summit. But the workout was great.

Completed this tail on the 31st of January. It was snowing but the absolutely amazing. The snow was stable so we were able to walk on it without sinking.

Recommended winter hiking trail.. just be armored with the proper hiking gears and snack..

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.

Icy, windy. I should have brought face protection for the exposed hills.
Traction important. I fell through snow in several places. Not many people on this day.

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

Definitely a intense hike, tried to do a sunrise but took longer than planned to get to the top. Went up new trail and down old. And boy are my knees sore from going down old trail! Fair warning!
But the view at the top! Well worth it! No need for spikes at the moment.

2 months ago

Incredible. Most beautiful hike I’ve ever been on in the US so far.

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

Awesome hike! Old trail is a beast and new trail down was perfect on the knees. Put on microspikes right after the boulder field.

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.

A must do on a hike bucket list. Old trail both ways.

Definitely hardest thing I have done in a long time but so worth it! I didn’t have show spikes or else it would have been much easier so prepare for weather better than I did! Took quite a few hours but I could have stayed at the top forever.

Great work out & views. Typically take 2.5 mile shortcut (old trail) up and 5.0 mile (new trail) down. All season trail. Recommend bringing spikes during winter.

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

2 months ago

Loved this hike. Did this in July and forgot to log it.. The Mrs, the teen and even my trusted Chocolate lab made the trip.. Great 360 degree view

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

Hidden lake lookout. Attempt number 3. Success.
It was king of challenge for me, I tried to get to the lookout two times before (May and November), two times in snow, two fails.
The initial plan for today was relax and enjoy snowshoe around Artis Point, but yesterday evening when I was checking reports I found on alltrails.com that somebody put 5 stars for Hidden Lake trail 5 days ago, it was enough for me to change my plans and try Hidden Lake again. Despite great weather I was not sure if I can make it, I still remember how much snow and avalanches was in May, but I decided give it a shot.

Came to trail around 10:30, actually I didn't get to trailhead even on AWD and parked mile or so before TH, 6 or 7 cars already were there. I reached TH in 40 mins and tired, it was difficult to go by snow, decided put on snowshoe after forest part. Forest part was easier, since less snow there, you can do in hiking boots, but gaiters recommended. Met two people going back, they done forest part of the trail and turned back.

Once I reached basin area I starded to follow by ski track, it was not easy, but doable in snowshoe which is a must at this part. I folowed ski track by right side from the stream, when actuall trail goes by left side. There are few avalances already came down, snow looks stable and solid, but anyway pay attention. Clibmed up to second avalanch, which came from the top and turned left to actual trail. Then did couple switchbacks and crossed this avalanch again toward to travers part of the trail. Despite hard and stable snow it was little bit scary to walk by avalnches, but I decided to go, maybe not too smart.

Travers part was very nice and much easier! View was gorgeous, clear views of peaks around, mt Baker, sun, snowshoe. Btw there are some steep slopes on this part as well, I even used iceaxe to go throug it, but as I said I followed by ski track, maybe it possible to find less steep route.

Once I reached end of the travers part I saw many snowshoe footprints at this point I realized that it should be some winter route. Definitely! I've seen many cars but met only two people, and ski track I followed by was few days long.

From this point there are few snowshoe trackы - first is regular trail, second goes to hidden lake peaks. I climbed up by second one, but at this point I did't know that it goes to the peaks, i realized it lated once I got closer. I didn't get to the peak, because it was already 2:30 pm and I had not so much time. I turned right towards to the lookuout, getting closer I've seen some people doing travers by peak to the lookout. In some report guys called this part "do it or die", kind of true :)

So, I reached lake viewpoint, then I took one of the snowshoe track up, travers part to the lookout is very steep, if you will go there you need to be very careful. I put of basket from my right pole and used it as iceaxe, before doing next step I put it deep in snow.

Finally I reached lookout, there were five people and two dogs, they came for overnight. They told me about winter route, it is shorter and much steeper. But! it much safer from avalanch standpoint since it goes through forest and there less snow now. So, if you go tomorrow or before next snowfall you can go by regular route, after snowfal basin area will be risky, but you can try winter route. But as I said it is very very steep espesially at the beginning (from road to lookout)

I took some food and photos and went down by regular route. Yeah, views were just awesome!

On my way back I met three people going up, they came by regular route as me. So, I tool winter route back, first half was easy, since I went down, moderate level of snow, good snowshoe track. Second part was more tough, slopes were much steeper, lots of fallen trees, I lost track little bit, because snow disappeared and I just followed direction to the road. Finally I reache the road, walked down to my car and went home.

Finally I can cross Hidden Lake Lookout trail in my list as completed.

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.

3 months ago

It’s definitely worth to go to the top! Amazing view!

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!

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