Hiking Bridal Veil Falls + Lake Serene
| February 23, 2017 |
On the day of my Mother’s birth in November 2016, I headed to a trail on a rainy morning. Driving from Olympia to Highway 2 was filled with views as the sky began to clear, and snow-powdered mountain peaks began to appear. As we hiked toward Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls, the reward only increased. Despite the inconsistent rain, the trail was easy to navigate. Also, the rain probably scared away some hikers, and the hike wasn’t over-crowded as WTA forewarned it may be on the weekend!
What did I most want to do when I started this hike? Call my mom to wish her happy birthday. Thanks, cell phone, for not letting me… But I did this serene hike for my mother, who I could never live without. And finally got cell service on the way down to wish her a Happy, Healthy Birthday. I love you, mom!
Lake Serene – Bridal Veil Falls
Length: 8.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
Highest Point: 2,521 feet
Location: Central Cascades – Stevens Pass – West (see map here)
Pass required: Northwest Forest Pass
My trusted coworker and I headed on my last “big” hike in the Pacific Northwest during my first travel Physical Therapy assignment. Sarah and I had difficulty coordinating hiking weekends, and were so excited when we finally had the same free time. We decided to choose a hike as epic as possible, and my-oh-my did we choose well. As past roommates for a few months and coworkers, trail talk is always easy with Sarah. She is also a traveling Physical Therapist, and we connect on many levels. Miles in the car and on the trail are never dull…
We opted to head first to Bridal Veil Falls, and got splashes of condensation on ourselves (and my camera lens).
The waterfall we saw on our way to Lake Serene was, in my opinion, more impressive than Bridal Veil falls. The multi-faceted rock made the water appear multi-dimensional and incredibly complicated, yet so simply beautiful. We stood and stared at these falls for a while, and didn’t get as much water sprayed onto us (or my camera lens).
The remainder of the hike was actually quite challenging. Though the elevation gain wasn’t intimidating, the climb to Lake Serene was quite the workout, and we both built up a sweat! Our reward was far beyond expectations. The raindrops pattered on the lake’s surface, while immense mountains jutted into the sky, the rumbling of avalanches were heard in the background, and a blue hue was admirable, even on a cloudy day.
A lot of the photos I took on this dayturned out to be incredibly grainy. I recently realized I am not manually setting my ISO when taking photos, so in low-light, I end up with about 3200 ISO. For an outdoor landscape photo, it does no justice to the scenery! I vow to hereon set my ISO before taking a photo, keeping it as low as possible to decrease the grainy look. A general guideline I’ve read is, on a sunny day, ISO can be between 100-200, and between 300-400 for a cloudy day. When using a tripod, the ISO can be much lower because you can increase the shutter speed instead (if shutter speed is too high when handholding, you’ll get a blur from shaky hands).
How low can you go, ISO?