ROUND TRIP: Bridal Veil Falls 4.4 miles/ Lake Serene 7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 850/1900 feet
SEASON: May - November
START: Lake Serene Trail 1068
PARKING: Northwest Forest Pass
Towering and formidable, Mount Index is perhaps the most awesome sight along the Stevens Pass Highway. And Bridal Veil Falls emanating from beneath the mountain’s austere crags is not a scene you’ll forget. But to really appreciate this impressive landmark, you’ll need to leave your vehicle and hit the trail. Start by following an old road lined with mossy maples and alders gradually ascending 1.7 miles to a junction.
For Bridal Veil Falls, head right a half mile climbing steeply via a series of short switchbacks and stairways to viewing areas often soaked in spray. For Lake Serene continue on the main trail dropping a little into a damp ravine. Cross Bridal Veil Creek and then begin climbing. The trail makes a long sweep east and then a long sweep west working its way under, over, and around cliffs. Take in fine views of the Skykomish Valley below as well as out to Ragged Ridge and other peaks of the Wild Sky Wilderness.
Lake Serene greets you in a tight basin beneath the ramparts and parapets of Mount Index. Cross the lake’s outlet on a sturdy bridge and head to Lunch Rock above the shores of the icy lake (keep children close by). Now stare straight up those surrounding 3,000 vertical foot stark walls. Hardly serene; it’s awe-inspiring! But when the basin is calm, those imposing rock faces reflect upon the lake’s surface.