Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls

Gold Bar, Washington

4.8/5
based on 25 reviews

Details

Distance

7.74 miles

Elevation Gain

2569 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Scott Kranz

Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls is a fantastic hike to see a hidden lake in between two peaks.

Consider this a must-do if you are in Seattle and feel like knocking out two amazing hikes AND getting to see a hidden lake all along US 2.

The trail starts out on an old road with the typical amazing forest surrounding you. After roughly 2 miles the road will end and you can go right (signage is easy to see) to Bridal Veil Falls or you can keep going and go straight to Lake Serene. This is where I would suggest going up to Bridal Veil since it's only an extra mile and totally worth it. Plus there's nothing like swimming under a waterfall.

For Bridal Veil, it's a staircase to the top (1/2 mile up, 1/2 mile back) and if the falls are flowing, you can hear them all the way up. There will also be water on the trail itself, so make sure you have good hiking shoes (possibly waterproofed) with a good tread. As with any falls, the rocks around it are slick, so be careful and if you are brave, don't hesitate to jump on in. There's nothing like a cold waterfall beating down on you to make you feel alive.

Once back on the main trail you'll cross over a bridge, good place for a photo, and then start to climb. It will be a combo of stone steps, rocks and trail, but just be prepared to push (gaining 1300' in 1.5 miles). Along the way you will see a bunch of peaks in the Wild Sky Wildnerness.

At the top you will see the stunning Lake Serene and all its glory. There is a 3000 vertical foot wall that sits behind the lake, so venture around a little bit before stopping to each your snacks/ lunch. If you're up for it, don't hesitate to jump in! Go back down the same way you came and take it slow, you've done all the hard work already.

This hike will be WAY less crowded in the winter, but be very prepared with your gear if you do. Snowshoes, snow gear, micro-spikes, etc. are all very good investments if you wanting to go up during this time.

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

The view at the top of this hike is breathtaking. The trail was maintained and not too difficult. I hiked this back in May when the lake was still partially frozen and it was unbelievable.

Parking: lots of parking, at 2:35pm there were surprising number of cars, probably 40 or so. Crowds: many people coming down, trail work near the top, only a handful of people around the lake. Up:1:20. Down: 1:10. Weather: cool and cloudy. Snow: none on or around the trail, a bit in the shadows on the mountain flanks, lake was ice free. Conditions: trail is in excellent condition, the first mile or so is through thick undergrowth and thus not as pretty, from there you spend the remainder of the hike in beautiful forests, an occasional tree across the path, trail work near the top. View (8/10): no sweeping long distance panoramas here, but a beautiful blue colored lake with cliffs rising high above it on one side, there are many either old or unofficial trails around the lake which can provide unique and beautiful views unlike the ones you typically see, of course these views are a bit more dangerous to get to so be careful. Photography (9/10): beautiful blue lake photography opportunities, best in my opinion on an overcast but no foggy or rainy day. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

Just hiked lake serene 12/13. Beautiful hike, ice and snow on the trail for the last portion before the lake. Microspikes or crampons recommended in the winter. We loved this hike!!

Stunning views and quite woods surround this trail, but don't be deceived. This is a steep hike, and I firmly recommend boots with well fitting ankle support. The Bridal Veil Falls can be reached via the main trail, and once you have ascended the ladder-walkways, it's a fantastic opportunity to rest and relax. Ascending to Lake Serene requires you to backtrack down the trail, and to then hike back into the mountain pass. Round trip, the hike was 5hrs. 🏔

Fairly hard hike but the reward at the top is worth the effort.

After work on a Thursday, I just did a spontaneous hike. Got at the parking lot around 05:30. Check out the video on my Instagram: pduero Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10213550047406235&id=1253767396&substory_index=0

I completed this hike during March, which left me encountering snow towards the top of the hike and surrounding Lake Serene. But this was just another beautiful sight. Watching snow fall from atop the high rock outcrops, and giving complete peace and quiet. 22 switchbacks were difficult to climb, but like most hikes, worth the strain. Views from atop are excellent and breathtaking. A great day hike for anybody interested. Would love to go back during the summer.

Because this lake is hidden by the tall peaks surrounding it, it creates a nice blockage from any light pollution. This makes it a great location to view stars!

Not much to see during the hike itself, but the Lake itself is incredible and unmatched. Not for the faint of heart, I'd suggest getting an early start because of crowds and in the winter, well, you know... The sun setting at 4:30 (i'm not salty). Hit the falls on the way up, you're not gonna feel like seeing them on the way back, trust me!

Great hike! Challenging, yet doable for your average hiker. Go early on a hot day and take a dip in gorgeous lake serene but the time you reach it you'll appreciate the refresher (during hot summer days). We made it to the far side of the lake for easy water across and privacy, but the latter didn't last long. Get there early, it's a crowded trail during peak season and the traffic on the way back (around 4pm) is typically congested through Gold Bar. Like the rest, I'd suggest doing the falls on the way up, as you'll be ready to call it a day once you're on the way back from Lake Serene.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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