Forum Index > Trip Reports > Lake Serene, Bridal Veil Falls - Alpine Lakes, 4/19/02
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Sore Feet
Random Quippy Bit



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: I'm on a boat
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Random Quippy Bit
PostFri Apr 19, 2002 10:41 pm 
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I figured it was about time I got back to Bridal Veil Falls to correct the crappy pictures I currently have.  After much speculation and trepedation that the creek wouldn't be high enough or would be too low, I started out around 2.

The trail looks like it had been worked on since I was there last (that doesn't say much since I hadn't hiked it for 3 years).  Off the bat, there's the new bridge at the first stream crossing.  A nice addition, but it would have been better had the bridge been ON the trail.  There's currently a narrow muddy track that goes around a big tree to get to the bridge, and then a branch or two will slap you in the face if you're not careful.

Onward, the rest of the stream crossings were not a problem, and I hauled up the trail faster than I thought I would (being pretty out of shape).  Met a few people along the way, much less crouded than I would have expected on a nice Friday afternoon.  

Got to the base of the falls around 2:40, ate some lunch and proceeded to burn some film.  The creek was lower than I expected for this time of the year, but it turned out to be the perfect water level for photography.  No spray, low enough that I could walk on the rocky streambed at the base of the falls without getting wet, etc.  Suggestion - those of you interested, find a rude boot path on the immediate left of the bridge that will take you right to the base of the main part of the lower falls.  Standing there right in the middle of the pool (sort of) and gazing up 250+ feet at the falls, which are much wider than appears from the bridge, is worth the hike itself.

After eating and shooting, I went back to the spur to the middle falls, and re-aquainted myself with my sore feet.  Those stairs are killer!  There were a few snow patches in the open areas on the spur, one about 50 feet wide and possibly as much as 5-6 feet deep still, presented a moderate risk for postholing, but it should melt within a week or so.  Would have been a wicked glissade biggrin.gif .

I spent a little time shooting the middle falls, then started down.  Seemed like the walk down was longer than coming up.  Maybe it was the jelly legs from doing those stairs.  I would have contemplated going all the way to the lake, but after seeing the little snow there was on the falls spur, and me without my snowshoes, I opted to go get a burger at Zekes instead.  Less tiring that way.

Then, for a final moment of what turned out to be a pretty good day, about a tenth of a mile from the parking lot, I spotted a Pica hopping down the trail.  It just stayed on the trail almost like it was going back to it's car.  Fortunately, it stopped long enough to let me take it's picture (which I'll post when I get it back).

--------------
Bryan Swan
Pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanswan
Waterfalls - www.waterfallsnorthwest.com
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catwoman
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 892 | TRs
Location: somewhere near Tacoma
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PostSun Jun 02, 2002 10:03 pm 
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Lake Serene update...... 6-2-02..... Can you believe it - this was my first trip up to Lake Serene!  Being that I live in Pierce Cty, I don't get up to Hwy 2 much.  Anyway, yes, agreed on the first bridge.  Seems oddly placed to the right of what is normally the trail.  Got a little mud bath when I slide down the muddy slope just before it.  Would have been simpler and less messy just to walk accross the really shallow creek which was normally the trail!  I didn't take the spur trail to the official Bridal Veil Falls.  So I guess the falls that the trail goes through isn't THE one, then?  Or maybe they're the diminished version, I don't know.  They were pretty, in any case.  Wow!  I think this is where the song "Stairway to Heaven" came from.  Stairs, stairs, and more stairs!  At least they were decently constructed so that the steps weren't awkwardly big or anything.  Those are so obnoxious and a bitch on your knees!  Anyway, with the stairs is the steepness.  Good workout for sure.  No snow until you get beyond the stairs and on to the avalanch slopes not long before the lake.  The snow was real wet and slushy and slippery - not to mention a little intimidating because it was breaking through in several places.  The lake was quite beautiful, though still snow covered.  There was one small thawed out spot at the entrance and I couldn't believe it but I actually saw two people with bathing suits on dive in!  Nutso!  

All in all, 'twas a beautiful hike.  Lotsa people, but I'd heard that's to be expected on a beautiful weekend day.  In any case - I enjoyed it.  

Snow, mud, and I felt some bugs clinging to me at times, too!
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