The One Trail I Hike With Colleagues

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: lakeswaterfalls • Places: Lake Serene

Many years ago in 2019, I hiked a trail somewhere in the Cascades to a beautiful waterfall, with Andrew, Nik, (both former officemates) Cynthia, and Fitbit.

We had copious amounts of LaCroix, took copious amounts of pictures, and had a copious amount of fun.

And yet, after I actually moved to Seattle, I realized that I didn't actually know which waterfall trail I was on, because there were a lot of them.

Want a photo with more context than this one? Read on!
Want a photo with more context than this one? Read on!

Well, cue July 2022. At work, some colleagues were visiting from Europe. We decided to go on a hike one Saturday.

And yes, it was the same hike.

So, in all of my time in the Pacific Northwest so far, I've gone on quite a few solo hikes, and only this one with other people. Twice.


Trail Information
Name Lake Serene Trail (Including Bridal Veil Falls)
Type point-to-point + sidetrail
Location Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
State WA
Country USA
Miles 4.2
Check out the trails index for information on more trails!

 

Before we get started, let me say that this is a very popular trail. I think when I went with my friends in 2019, we got one of the few remaining spots in the main parking lot on a weekday morning.

On a Saturday in 2022, the main lot was full, and so was the overflow lot. But, there were plenty of cars parked on the side of the dirt road, which is where I left my vehicle.

A Northwest Forest Pass or equivalent is required to park here. And yes, I believe we got ticketed in 2019. 😵

 

Falls

The hike to Bridal Veil Falls is rocky, yes. Uphill, yes. But, certainly doable for the vast majority of people who can hike.


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Image On Where-Is-Steve
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At least one of my current colleagues did not understand why I was so happy to be back at a place which I claimed was very important to me because I had once held a baby next to a cliff there. I clarified this somewhat by showing them a photograph from yesteryear.

Because I like you, dear readers, I will clarify this further with two photographs from yesteryear.

Team LaCroix, a.k.a. Nik, Andrew Wilkinson, and I -- July 2019
Team LaCroix, a.k.a. Nik, Andrew Wilkinson, and I -- July 2019 open_in_full   info
There's Olivia, there's the cliff, and there's me.
There's Olivia, there's the cliff, and there's me. open_in_full   info  map

The main water source for Bridal Veil Falls is Lake Serene. Hiking up there is more of an ordeal, with a hefty elevation gain in a short distance.

Lake (and/or Trail To..)

After you leave the waterfall, you turn back until you reach where the sidetrail intersects the main trail. You have a choice: to continue onwards to Lake Serene, or to return to the parking lot. In July 2019, my compatriots and I returned to the parking lot.

But this time, we continued onwards, past a trickly rock wall that reminded us of the falls...


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...and up some steep slopes, ascending an additional ~1,520 feet in the last two miles of the trail.


I brought along four trekking poles, and ended up lending them out at various points during the walk. My mother's set went to a very fastidious colleague, who had used poles in the past, and made good and responsible use of them. However, I briefly lent one of my poles to another colleague who had not used poles before.

Already able-bodied and fast-moving, he decided that the single pole meant he was more powerful than before. For amusement, he clambered up a rock, but slipped and fell on the way down, putting his full weight on the pole, which was lodged a crevice. Rather predictably, it snapped.

R.I.P. half my tent poles for my 1-person backpacking tent. Please leave your F's in the chat.


After losing one pole, and gaining considerable elevation, we also gained gorgeous mountain and forest views.


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Ain't nothing like some moist fungus!
Ain't nothing like some moist fungus! open_in_full   info

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And, eventually we arrived at the lake, which was certainly popular, but as serene as its name.


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While chilling by the lake, I managed to snap a few decent bird photos, much to my pleasant surprise.


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Image On Where-Is-Steve
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Image On Where-Is-Steve
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Image On Where-Is-Steve
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Heading back down, we all felt accomplished, and ready for a nice dinner.


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