Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,000.00 ft (609.60 m)
Trail type
7.20 mi (11.59 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Despite the large number of people hiking to Lake Serene every day, it still lives up to its name. The lake is nestled under the 3,000-foot crags of Mount Index, and it feeds the equally awe-inspiring Bridal Veil Falls below. Both lake and falls were discovered in the early 1900s by workers from nearby Honeymoon Mine, who had been drawn to Mount Index by the promise of mineral riches. The mine has long since closed, but old tunnels are still scattered throughout the area.

The trail to Lake Serene has a smooth and gentle start, winding through alders, maples, and firs draped in moss. On the way up, take a .5-mile detour to visit Bridal Veil Falls, and then begin the switchbacking ascent to the lake, passing several smaller waterfalls on the way. The path is rich with thimbleberries, huckleberries, and blueberries by mid-summer. The trail pops out of the forest as you near the lake, and you will be treated to a view of jagged crags and the valley below while hiking the final stretch.

For the best picnicking spot, continue around the northwest side of the lake to a large expanse of sloping rock, dubbed "lunch rock. Remember to "leave no trace behind." Due to the popularity of this hike, the area gets very crowded on weekends, so a weekday might be best for this adventure.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Waterfalls. Swimming. Family friendly.


Big crowds.

Trailhead Elevation

600.00 ft (182.88 m)



Typically multi-day



Nearby Adventures

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
South Fork of the Skykomish River, Washington

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest


It took my party (3 adults, a 10 year old, a 9 year old, and a 7 year old) an hour to hike to the point where you have the option to veer off to the falls. It then took us two more hours to finish the hike to the lake. We fond it pretty rocky and steep for our kiddos. We were there during the week so there was not much traffic but I would heed the advise of avoiding this hike on the weekends since the rocky and steep trail would be tricky if one was constantly passing other hikers.
The lake is beautiful and our kiddos said it was worth the hard work to get there.
It was long and difficult hiking but worth to visit.
The parking for this hike fill up really early on nice weekends, so a somewhat cloudy day or a weekday will definitely be more relaxing. Also, when the parking lot is full and hikers begin to park on Mt Index road, please be aware that there is a residential community down that road and people still have to get to and from their homes. There is still some snow on the trail (early June) and while it is beautiful, it can be hazardous. The weather can change at a moments notice, so be prepared for that. It offers beautiful views all year, but my favorite time is early fall when the leaves are changing and it's a little cooler. While most people can do this hike, it may be difficult for little kids and there are a few spots I would recommend a harness. Bring a camera, you never know what you might see!
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