Lake Serene Trail

HARD 651 reviews

Lake Serene Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately 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, walking, and trail running and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2650 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

snow

From Everett, east on US 2 to mile marker 35. Turn right after the marker on Mount Index Road (FSR 6020) and travel 0.3 miles. Turn right at the fork onto FSR 6020-109 and go 0.1 miles to the trailhead on the left.

1 day ago

1 day ago

Was a decent hike and lake view was amazing. It was very peaceful and quite. It was also really good that it had a fall trail on the side which would take an extra one hour. Highly recommend.

hiking
2 days ago

I accepted an invitation to join a few of my friends on September 3, 2017. We left Yakima at approximately 6:30 and arrived at the trailhead at around 9:30 to find the parking area completely packed. We found additional parking about a quarter of a mile from the trailhead.

At the halfwaypoint we decided to take a side trip to see Bridal Veils Falls. It was a half mile of a very vertical hike to get there but very rewarding! We even saw a wedding take place there.
We then completed our hike to the beautiful Lake Serene.
Although this is a very popular hike, it is also a very strenuous one. I hadn't been hiking in years so it was very taxing to say the least as I wasn't conditioned for this.
Insects were not an issue at all even at the lake, though I was prepared with deet.

hiking
2 days ago

3 days ago

Beautiful glacier lake at the top well worth it

hiking
3 days ago

Well maintained easy to moderate trail. Heavily trafficked but the lake is beautiful.

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful hike. However, I wish I could go back in time and research the Lake Serene trail before having hiked it. I'm a new Washington hiker and had been on about 3 or 4 hikes before hiking both Bridal Veils and Lake Serene in the same day - ow! My legs were shaking coming back from the lake. However, though it was hard, the view was worth it and we met a lot of encouraging and kind hikers along the way. Next time, I'll remember to just hike one or the other!

5 days ago

The switchbacks will remind you that you're still alive, or they'll put you in the grave. Either way, a great hike!

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

The trail is in great shape. It's definitely worth it to visit Bridal Veil Falls as well, there's an amazing view and it's only an extra mile. The lake is gorgeous and there's still snow visible. The water is cold, but warm enough to swim if your brave. Please remember to hike out any trash. My husband and I had to pick up a beer can and some other trash that we found near the lake. Overall, great hike.

7 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

The secret of a great trail is one that rewards you, not necessarily during its course, but at the end. And, the reward is "generally proportional" to the difficulty of the trek; if it requires strenuous effort, it is fairly certain that the destination will be well worth the effort.
Such is the case with Lake Serene, a beautiful, crystalline lake nestled in the Cascade mountains, as you approach Stevens Pass, not far from Mount Index. With the trail but a "mere" length of 3.4 miles (one way), one would mistakenly believe that this is an "easy" journey, but elevation is the key. The first 1.4 miles winds across a very well manicured and slightly inclined path, taking you up a gentle 500 feet, where the hiker is given a choice: another one half mile to Bridal Veil Falls (in and of itself a very beautiful spot to visit), or another two miles to Lake Serene.
These two miles to the lake traverse a full 2,150 foot climb, through a series of long, wooden steps, rocky passages, and switchbacks that are, needless to say, very steep. In fact, at 1.4 miles into the lake trail, you encounter a 46% grade; 46%!!! This is where the trail earns its "hard" rating on trail apps, and to date, has been my most challenging, by far. I cannot claim that going uphill was in any way "pleasant", but the return downhill, by retrospect, was torturous, with my knees taking the greatest brunt.
Regardless of experience, arrival at the lake imparts an immediate and substantial award; this lovely pool of blue-green water is satisfyingly clear, cool, and inviting, surrounded by high ridges and remnants of the previous winter snowfall. Sitting on a large rock at the edge of the water to eat lunch, I spotted a beautiful trout in the water, and another small fish nearby. Finishing, I crossed a cleverly crafted log bridge that carried me across the lake's mouth, which pours down and feeds the aforementioned falls. A short trail then carried me over to a very large, smooth rock named "Lunch Rock", where a number of people were relaxing, and a few people even decided to use it as a "launching spot" to jump into the crisp waters.
Next to Snow Lake, in Snoqualmie Pass, I've yet to encounter such a pleasant, hidden, and indeed aptly named tarn as lovely as Lake Serene. While I was taxed by this adventure, the seven hour excursion was WELL worth the effort. If your body and will are up to the task, this is a MUST SEE destination that will greatly satisfy your sense of adventure and search of natural beauty.

Chris Munson 9/11/17

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

13 days ago

13 days ago

trail running
14 days ago

could only run the first half, too steep after. amazingly gorgeous, recommend going early in the morning

trail running
15 days ago

The lake is beautiful. The number of people and the amount of infrastructure on the trail detract from the experience. Otherwise, it'd be 5 stars.

As a run, it's challenging. As a hike, it isn't. The trail is manicured and the overall length is short.