Lake Serene Trail and Bridal Veil Falls is a 7.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gold Bar, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,660 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

Lake Serene is a alpine lake nestled in the Cascade mountains of Washington State. Lake Serene Trail is a popular hike within the Mount Baker Snoqualamie Forest. The trailhead can be accessed off of Mount Index Road near Stevens Pass. Make sure to get an early start in order to get a parking spot at the trailhead. What the trail lacks in length, it makes up for in elevation gain. The first mile and a half winds across a well manicured and slightly inclined path, at the end of which you can choose to go another mile on Bridal Veil Falls Trail to Bridal Veil Falls or another two miles to the main trail to Lake Serene. The extra mile is certainly worth the side trip to see the falls. One you have returned to Serene Lake Trail, the two miles to the lake traverse a large climb, through a series of long, wooden steps, rocky passages, and switchbacks. Approximately 1.4 miles into the lake trail, you will encounter a very steep grade. Once you reach the lake, you will be rewarded by the stunning blue lake is that is clear, cool, inviting, and surrounded by high ridges and remnants of the previous winter snowfall. Find a spot along this gorgeous lake to eat lunch and take a rest. From the lake, you can also cross a log bridge and take a short trail that will take you to a large, smooth rock named "Lunch Rock", where you will find people relaxing and jumping into the lake. When you are ready, return via the way you came. This is a great hike and a must see destination that will greatly satisfy your sense of adventure and search of natural beauty. A Northwest Forest Pass is required.

hiking
2 hours ago

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

hiking
13 days ago

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.

trail running
19 days ago

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.

hiking
21 days ago

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
24 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
26 days ago

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

hiking
26 days ago

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.

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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

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.

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked Oct 2017, strenuous and totally worth it. Really enjoyed this one. Don’t go chasing waterfalls, get to the lake first and then stop by the falls on the way down. We wasted way too much time at Bridal falls

hiking
2 months ago

First rainy hike since moving to the PNW a few months ago. Went to Lake Serene and skipped the falls. I would rate this trail as more moderate, it's steadily uphill but not technical at all with well a manicured trail and well positioned rocks for your climbing needs. The lake was beautiful even in the rain and you pass a few smaller waterfalls on the way up.

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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!

2 months ago

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).

2 months ago

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!

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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!

3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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
3 months ago

The trail is open again and Lunch Rock is waiting for you.

3 months ago

Fantastic, fun hike.

3 months ago

Hiked today on Labor Day. lot was half full at about 8:30 am. Trail got gradually more packed as day went on. Despite the crowds, the trail and sites were great. Can’t beat hike given proximity to Seattle.

It is work getting to both the falls and then the lake, but anybody in reasonable shape and with patience and perseverance can do it.

Load More