Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene Hike
The hike to Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene is a heavily trafficked hike in Mount-Baker Snoqualmie National Forest that is rated as hard. While this hike is considered strenuous by many, the cascading falls and the peaceful lakeshore are worth the effort. If you’re armed with good boots and poles, this hike is a very memorable outing. We particularly like it on hot days and midweek when the trail is a bit less busy.
The trailhead for the Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene hike is located off Mt Index Road. There is a parking area with washroom facilities at the trailhead.
|When to do|
Yes - On Leash
Out and back
Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene Hike
Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene Hike Description
Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene are two stunning viewpoints that occupy the same trail, making for a very impressive hike. This trail is a bit strenuous and good boots and poles will go a long way, but the falls just past the halfway mark break up the trek nicely and give you the chance to catch your breath before the final push to the lake. At the lake, there is both an elevated overlook of the lake and the aptly named Lunch Rock right by the shore where you can break out your sandwiches.
The trail begins from the parking loop. Ignore a spur trail off to the left that crosses the creek, instead crossing further on. You’ll roughly follow the river, curving back towards it to cross the creek twice more. The trail branches away from the river towards a junction. Stay right here.
Another spur trail turns right further on; stay on the defined path. Just after the creek crossing, the trail branches in a Y. We recommend first going to the right for your first view of the falls, crossing over two creek arms to soak up the pretty water and the mist.
From this first falls viewpoint, turn around and return to the junction. Getting back on the Lake Serene Trail (heading left instead), cross the creeks again to the second viewpoint of Bridal Veil Falls. While you could just take the left path and enjoy the one view of the falls, we love seeing both, and it’s not a significant addition in terms of distance. It does involve a short push of elevation gain, but it’s worth it!
The second half of the path gets rockier, and there are some stairs. You’ll hike through some narrow switchbacks, gaining elevation through the most strenuous portion of the hike. Keep going until the lakeshore opens up before you.
As you approach the lake, there are restrooms to your left, an overlook viewpoint in front of you, and Lunch Rock just round the top curve of the lake. We recommend checking out all the viewpoints to find your favorite one. Enjoy the 3,000-foot Mount Index looming above and the calm lake before you return the same way you came.
Hiking Route Highlights
This gorgeous mountain-clad lake is a popular destination for hikers and fishers. It’s an immensely popular site for its calm dark-blue waters and mountain ridge overhead. The lake is the source for Bridal Veil Falls.
Bridal Veil Falls
These 1,328-foot falls are a gorgeous sight, with water cascading over four tiers 150 feet wide. Two of these tiers are clearly visible, and the cascading rush is a huge draw for hikers. The falls are fed by Lake Serene and empty into the Bridal Veil Creek.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you swim in Lake Serene?
Yes, you can swim in Lake Serene, but the water tends to be quite chilly!
Can kids get to Lake Serene?
While we don’t recommend this trail for younger children, active kids comfortable with more tiring hikes should be able to make it to the lake.
Are there fish in Lake Serene?
Yes, indeed! The lake is stocked with Rainbow Trout and Largemouth Bass.
Parking for this trail fills up quickly on the weekends. Get here early!
We recommend making the detour to the falls before reaching the lake, as making the climb to the falls always seems less enticing at the end of the hike.
Don’t forget your Northwest Forest Pass!
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