Distance Roundtrip: 7.2 RT (without Bridal Veil Falls)
Elevation Gain: 2000 ft.
Highest Elevation: 2521 ft.
Location: Central Cascades: Steven’s Pass
Lettering Medium: Pencil
We recently adopted the most adorably energetic puppy named Winston. He’s loveable, hilarious, stubborn, naughty and well keeping us quite homebound. Being that he’s only three months, hiking is not in the cards with him for many more months. So given that we haven’t been able to get outdoors much my request for Valentine’s Day was a hiking date. We arranged a sitter (thanks sister/auntie!!) and crossed our fingers for good weather. It seemed the weather would be in our favor with high 50’s and patches of sun. Hmm … yeah not so much. On Saturday we awoke to grey skies and drizzles but we went for it anyway.
I’ve heard Lake Serene is packed in the summer so I thought off-season would be the perfect opportunity to do this hike while it’s less crowded. We arrived around 10am (it’s only a little over an hour drive from Seattle!) and the lot was already almost full. The first part of this hike is really flat and the trail is quite wide. After about 1.7 miles you arrive at a fork in the trail, off to the right is a 1/2 mile up to Bridal Veil Falls, to the left is Lake Serene. We opted to skip Bridal Veil Falls, thinking it will be a perfect beginner hike for the pup in the summer and forged on ahead to Lake Serene. After passing this junction the trail narrows down into denser forest before starting the climb to Lake Serene. Ah … the climb. You’ll climb about 2000 ft in a couple miles. It’s pretty much straight up switchbacks. The switchbacks are riddled with steep wooden stairs, which in my opinion is more of a workout then just climbing. On the way down we decided to count the stairs. 389 steps!! It doesn’t sound like a lot but it sure felt like a lot. It was definitely a glute and thigh burner – great workout! Also I’m sure there are awesome views while climbing but we were socked in by fog and couldn’t see over the edge.
After climbing for what felt like forever we came to the top where you continue walking for about a half mile before reaching the lake. As soon as we arrived at the lake it started raining so we huddled under some trees, ate our lunch standing up (glamorous, right? ;), and took a few pictures. It was actually quite crowded at the lake despite the rain so I imagine it must be uber crowded on a nice summer’s day.
Deciding that the rain wasn’t stopping anytime soon and the fog wasn’t leaving we headed back down the mountain. Despite the weather it was still a lovely day for trekking in the woods. We went home feeling satisfied and ready to snuggle on the couch with our puppy.