Take a beautiful (if icy) hike to Lake Serene

The trip to Lake Serene has everything you could want in a hike. There are waterfalls, views of towering peaks and beautiful mossy forests. There’s also 2,000 feet of gain and countless steps, all culminating in a charming mountain lake.

I hiked Lake Serene on Sunday. The trail is enjoyable for its entire length. Even the sections that are just trudging through dense forest are beautiful.

Near the top of the trail, perhaps the last half mile or so, the trail is covered in places with very thick ice. My hiking companion and I made it through just fine with regular boots. We wished, though, that we’d had some sort of extra traction, such as Yaktrax or microspikes.

The ice slowed us down, and not just because it was slick. It was also gorgeous. We spent a long time watching in fascination as water moved under the ice covering rock walls. It almost looked like tiny fish wriggling their way to the ground. It was mesmerizing.

The lake itself is partially covered in bubbly ice. There’s a light layer of snow on the ground. While we were there, we heard many loud booms as ice fell from the towering peaks across the lake.

While we were having lunch, a couple headed by on their way to get married. I’m still kicking myself for not thinking to get their info so I could hear their story.

If you’re looking for a hike for the holiday weekend, I can’t recommend Lake Serene enough. Just make sure you’re prepared for cold conditions and check the weather report. You can also check the trip reports on WTA to see what conditions are like.

To get there

Lake Serene is about an hour from Everett. To get there, drive east on U.S. 2 past Gold Bar. Turn right on Mount Index Road, near milepost 35. The trailhead is about a half mile ahead. The bathrooms were locked as of last weekend.

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