In my last post, I told you about my first attempt at hiking Lake Serene. Now, this isn’t a super challenging hike, and the reasons we didn’t make it weren’t because we weren’t strong enough. On that first try, we were turned around by the snow. Not wanting either of us to slip and break an ankle or blow out a knee, I made the decision for us to turn around before we got to the top.

April was a busy month with me being in Singapore for work, and I haven’t had a chance to get out at all since that first attempt. For my second attempt on the last weekend of April, I invite my friend Cara (my brother’s girlfriend) out to give it another try. We get an early start, as I like to do, and leave my house by 7am. It’s the perfect day for hiking – sunny but cool. We arrive at the trailhead at 830 and as we’re getting ready, I realize I forgot my hiking boots. Are you kidding me? I’m wearing slippers so I can’t even suck it up with crappy footwear. I feel so bad for Cara, making her get up early and I can’t even go hiking with her. I promise to make it up to her the following weekend.

For our third try, Cara, Lori and I all decide to go together. I triple check that my boots are in the car before leaving, and we make it to the trailhead by 745am. Since I already shared photos of the first part of the hike, I will only share a few more, mainly to show how much greener and fuller everything is from just a month ago.




You can really see the difference in these side by side pictures. It’s crazy what a difference a month makes!

lake serene

The waterfalls have less water coming down as well.




Fortunately it’s not raining too much on this trip, though we do have a few drops. I’m so glad to be dry after our last soaking on this trail.




Here’s the point where we turned around last time. It also looks drastically different today, sans snow.





Finally, FINALLY we make it to the lake! After three tries, we actually make it. It feels so good to get here.


On a sunny day, this is a stunning alpine lake area, with Mt Index rising in the distance and snow fields dotting the slopes. I’m so bummed you can barely see across today, but it doesn’t diminish my relief in making it.


And frankly, the fog provides its own beauty.




The water is so clean and clear it makes me want to jump in, except it’s literally a degree above freezing.



Now for the obligatory “Pose at the summit with our Rainier Beer mascot!” photo!



After eating some snacks and resting, we head back down. It’s not the views we were hoping to see, but hey, we made it. Maybe we’ll just have to give it one more try this year, when it’s for sure sunny, to finally see the views. Or maybe we’ll save it for another year, another training hike. Who knows?

Ballard Farmer's Market
Rainier Training Hike - Lake Serene 1st Attempt