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Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls

Gold Bar, Washington

based on 26 reviews



7.74 miles

Elevation Gain

2569 ft

Route Type



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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Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls Reviews

The waterfall and the lake were both great, but it was packed. So, try and get to the trailhead early! Lunch rock is a great place to kick it for a bite once you make it to the lake.

Being the first car in the parking lot at 6:15AM on a Saturday, there was complete solitude at Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene for a good part of the early morning. On my way back to the trail head around 10AM, it was becoming rather busy. If your legs are up for it, be sure to make the 0.5 mile uphill go at seeing the falls before coming back down and and continue onward to the lake. It was a gorgeous day and the views were spectacular. Have fun and take it all in!

Got out to the trailhead fairly early- parked around 845 and the lot was already filling. The hike up is great and we recommend the 1/2 mile side trail to see the falls. The hike to the lake is in the same state- quite a few downed trees and snow the last mile, a bit thicker the last half mile. The lake makes for absolutely incredible views as does the view down on the valley. This trail is beginning to get very crowded- the only thing keeping it from a 5 star rating. It's one of the only trails without bad snow this early in the year, but can't see this being worthwhile much later in the season.

I completed this hike in early February on a warm day, not hitting any snow pack until about the last 1.5 miles, and not seriously until the last half mile. This is an incredible hike. Lush, waterfalls and streams, and very few people (Sunday morning, 8 a.m.). The open space and views over the last .5 mile is awe inspiring. The lake is frozen and covered in snow, and perfectly silent. This took me about 3.5 hours. Highly recommend! (Note: The WTA needs to come out and clear the trail -- a recent landslide left huge evergreens to climb under or over to get through.)

This is one of our favorite hikes. When we have outdoorsy friends come visit, this is a must-see. The switchbacks on the hike up get a bit tiring but the views up at the top are well worth it! As others have mentioned, I suggest an early morning start as it gets pretty busy.

This hike offers amazing views and scenery, and with its accessibility, it's a popular spot. If you want to enjoy any solitude at Lake Serene, I'd highly recommend an early start!

Leave No Trace

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