February 23 my wife was away and I went hiking at Lake Serene with friends who are living in the area for the summer. This was early for a hike in that area but possible because of the mild winter we had. Usually the trail is snowed in until May or June, but this year there was hardly any snow even at the lake - less snow than we've seen in August or September.
The hike is about nine miles including a side trail to Bridal Veil Falls with an elevation gain of 2000 feet (somewhat more with the side trail). There was almost nothing in bloom, but it was a beautiful sunny day and a very pleasant hike, first through groves of Red Alders, then through some old growth forest and finally out into the open before one reaches the lake.
The trail is very rough and quite steep with a lot of switchbacks through the forest, but is one of our favorite day hikes and a place we go to look for wild orchids, though none were in bloom in February. The friends I hiked with had their dog along and he enjoyed the hike as well and was not at all bothered by the roughness of the trail, though he was tired by the end.
Bridal Veil Falls and the view from the falls
more of the trail and the view from the trail