The trail to Lake Serene is one of our favorite hikes, but can be very busy. When I hiked there on the Fourth of July with my brother, we found it busy indeed, though we had an early enough start that we were on our way down when we met all the crowds. We were at the trailhead at daybreak and back down to the car before noon, just as hordes of people descended on the place.
The beginning of the trail is through a mixed forest
with occasional glimpses of the valley below and the mountains across the way.
At a mile and a half in there is a side trail through a Red Alder forest to Bridal Veil Falls.
Back on the main trail there is a wet cliff just before the trails heads up a series of switchbacks.
Near the end of the switchbacks both the valley below and Mount Index come into view.
The lake itself, however, is the goal of the hike, well worth the trek and aptly named.
After reaching the lake we had a snack and a rest at Lunch Rock among the cedars
before heading back down.