Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Who would have thought I'd need 4 hikes to see Lake Serene?

Lake Serene is a super steep trail near Index, WA that ended up requiring 4 separate hikes for me to see it in its entirety. The first time I hiked it, I didn't have a lot of time and only chose to hike up to the Bridal Veil Falls portion. This was in July of 2011. Oscar and I came back in April to complete the hike up to the lake, but ended up encountering far too much snow to make it to our destination. We came incredibly close, but after hearing avalanches and struggling to pick ourselves up out of the snow, we decided it was best to turn around and come back another time. It was a wise decision.

I was able to come back 2 other times, once in mid-August and once in early September. In August, I was on my way out to Leavenworth to see some friends in this year's "The Sound of Music," so I thought I'd finish up the hike on my way out. These 2 pics show a huge difference between spring and late summer. This rock area was soaked in the spring and completely dry by August. I was able to make it to the lake, but I was in an enormous hurry since traffic had reduced my available hiking time by 45 minutes. For that reason, I really wasn't able to get a lot of pictures. The little one on the far right shows a distant view of Sunset Falls in the near vicinity.

 Just a few days later, I found out my friend Cari was hosting a "Woman's Day of Health and Wellness," and wanted to start it off with a hike to Lake Serene. At first I was disappointed that it was the hike I'd just done, but it ended up being a lot of fun. My friend Marianna came and brought her camera with panorama abilities, so I was able to get some pretty cool pics of the lake. Plus we discovered "Lunch Rock" had a much more open view of the lake than I'd seen on my previous trip.

It was a gorgeous day, and the views were breathtaking!

We also hiked up to the falls on this trip, and the panorama camera let me get a nicer shot of it than any from my previous trips. It's interesting to me that the falls weren't that different on my trip in April 2012 from what they were in September 2012, but they were at their best in July 2011.

Sunset Falls, which is not terribly far from the Lake Serene Trail, says "private road" when you drive up to it, but the road itself leads to a large number of residences, which means a fair number of cars drive on it each day. I don't think people are going to be too upset if you drive in a short distance just to take a picture. The falls are the first thing you see once you pass the sign. They really ought to put that sign up just past the falls before you pass any of the houses. Why deny this pretty little falls to the public?

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