On August 7th, my wife and I decided to celebrate our 5 year anniversary (on the 6th) with a hike to a new spot we hadn’t ever been to before.
Amy saw a place called Lake Serene in a magazine and a book that had some amazing pictures. Knowing that the trail head wasn’t far from home, we decided to give it a shot.
Looking up the trail on the US Forest Service, I noticed that the trail is rated as “difficult”. But it’s only 4+ miles to both the falls and the lake… It can’t be that bad, right?
This is Amy just past the first bridge. We were only about 1/2 a mile into the hike with a slow but steady up hill climb. We got a fairly early start and hadn’t seen too many people yet. Amy was VERY nervous crossing this bridge. The gaps between the slats are several inches across. 🙂
After about 1 1/2 miles up the trail, there is a right hand fork that goes another 1/2 mile to Bridal Veil Falls. There are LOTS of stairs to climb and lots of rocks. A few times, Amy turned to me and said “Are we still on the trail?” Sometimes, it looks like your climbing up a river bed of rocks instead of a trail.
Once we made it to the top, though, it was worth every step.
We enjoyed the spray of the falls. The day was overcast, but the climb kept us warm.
This sign amused me. But I suppose earlier in the year, the falls are probably much more dangerous with more water.
The top of the falls looked like they were several hundred feet above us. But it was hard to tell, as the top was lost in fog.
After a quick snack, we went back down the 1/2 mile to the fork and started up towards Lake Serene.
The trail wound around for a bit, then crossed a neat bridge far down stream of the falls.
Most stream crossings were rock steps. This was the only real bridge found.
Over the top of these small falls is the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls. But you can’t really see them from this bridge.
Another quick stop on the way. This was a wide, rocky spot that had some tiny waterfalls in the background. Good for a quick rest.
Then we hit more stairs. There were LOTS of stairs on this climb. Still not very many people, though. It seemed as we got closer to the lake, we started to see more people.
This was a typical stream crossing. You can see some people heading around a bend on the trail. Streams were nice because you could stop on a rock in the middle and feel a nice cold breeze to cool you off 🙂
Did I mention the fog? The fog was both good and bad. Nice, because we didn’t have to worry about over heating in the sun. Bad because it obstructed what I imagine are some gorgeous views!
We finally made it to the lake and sat on a nice bench, made from a log, for lunch. More people were starting to show up too. I was surprised how many people we saw on such a foggy day.
At first, we couldn’t see the other side of the lake, and we were wondering how big it actually was. We decided to walk around a bit and see what else was up here.
This was my favorite bridge. It is a giant log over a huge log jam in the stream that flows out of the lake and becomes Bridal Veil Falls.
As we were walking along the lake, the fog started to lift a little. You could start to make out the other side.
About 1/4 of the way around the lake is this giant rock sitting partly in the water. It is called “Lunch Rock” because a lot of people come here to eat. Some people were even going to the bottom of the rock and getting in the water! By this time, Amy and I were starting to cool down enough that jumping in the water seemed like a bad idea. Maybe on a hotter day.
Also, the pictures don’t do the rock justice. It was quite steep at the top and bottom of the rock, with a nice flat spot in the middle to sit down on.
After sitting around and giving our feet a rest, it was back down the hill. The total round trip was about 8.2 miles. A nice, long hike on a perfect, not too hot day. It did rain on us on the way down, but we were so hot and sore, that the rain felt amazingly good 🙂