Hike to Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls

8 miles 2200 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Scott Kranz

A fantastic hike to see a hidden lake in between two peaks. Should take 3-4 hours and don't forget to keep going to see the Bridal Veil Falls waterfall in all its glory.

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 2miles 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.

Read More

Go Pro.

We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more!

Learn More


Rate this Adventure

Awesome Summer Hike!

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.

Great Hike

This was an awesome hike. It's definitely challenging, as it's mostly uphill on the way to the lake and there are a lot of rocks/tree roots on the trail. The hike is beautiful though, and it's totally worth it. Lake Serene is gorgeous, as are the falls (which you should stop at on your way up to the lake- you will be tired on the way back)! We went swimming which was a cool experience, but the water is very cold so be prepared! If you want to go in just jump, don't test the water first or you won't want to go in anymore. The only complaint I have is that the trail is narrow and there were a lot of people out hiking (I went in late June), so it was crowded and wasn't as secluded as I had hoped. If you're looking to be alone in the woods this is not the hike for you!


Did this hike on a sunny morning in early May and it was gorgeous! There was still some snow at the lake which made for great photos. Note the trail gets very crowded and is a little rocky but in general is a family and dog friendly trail. When you reach the lake follow the path to the right to get to a big rock - perfect spot for lunch, taking a nap, or for jumping off into the water on a hot day!

Leave No Trace

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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Sultan, Washington

Wild Sky Ranch

From $189/night

Gold Bar, Washington

Skykomish Vida Chalet

From $206/night

Skykomish, Washington

Money Creek Campground

Skykomish, Washington

Miller River Group Camp

Nearby Adventures

Hike to Heybrook Ridge

3.2 mi / 760 ft gain

Exploring Sunset Falls


Hike to Heybrook Lookout

2.6 mi / 850 ft gain

Swim at Eagle Falls

More Nearby Adventures