Bridal Veil Creek runs out of cliff-ringed Lake Serene and launches into the valley of the Skykomish River via a series of large waterfalls. Though never officially measured, the entire chain of falls drops over 1,200 feet starting almost immediately after exiting its source lake. Unfortunately only about one third of the falls is readily visible from any one point, though glimpses of small portions of the rest of the falls can be had from across the valley and possibly from portions along the trail as it climbs to the lake.
The two main visible tiers of the falls, which can be seen prominently from Highway 2 across the valley, as well as individually along the Lake Serene Trail, account for 568 feet worth of height. The upper of the two drops, which is accessed via a spur from the Lake Serene Trail, veils 205 feet over a dark cliff. Immediately below this drop is a chute-type cascade which drops 41 feet, which then leads into the final fall of 322 feet which can be partially seen from the footbridge spanning Bridal Veil Creek.
Adjacent to the prominent portion of the falls is a second channel which branches off at the base of the uppermost tier of the falls (just downstream of Lake Serene), which parallels the main fall for the duration of its fall. Only the final tier of this drop is visible, as the trail crosses immediately beneath its base just after the footbridge over the main channel of the creek. This unbridged crossing can at times be deep enough that it is not possible to continue without getting your feet wet. During the late summer, the volume of Bridal Veil Creek can be reduced such that this segment of the falls may run entirely dry, and the main portion of the falls will likewise become considerably less impressive.
As a final note, Bridal Veil Falls does present some considerable hazards, particularly around the viewpoint of the second to last tier at the end of the spur trail. The rocks below the falls can be quite slick, and there is little protection below since the stream transitions directly into the final drop of the falls. Use appropriate restraint and caution around the falls and do not put yourself in unnecessary risk in attempt to get a better vista of the falls. Given how popular the Lake Serene Trail is, one could easily create a scene which could endanger other hikers as well.
- Bridal Veil Falls is the Official name of this waterfall.
Bridal Veil Falls is accessed from the Lake Serene Trail, located just north of the town of Index off Highway 2. Turn off of Highway 2 at Mount Index Road, just west of the second bridge across the Skykomish River (immediately west of the town of Index), and head left at the first junction to the parking lot in one-quarter of a mile. The bottom of the falls are reached after hiking 1.8 miles, and the base of the second tier after 2.3 miles via a spur trail about 1/4 mile before the bridge below the falls. The falls can also be easily viewed from Highway 2, with the best vista being afforded just over three-quarters of a mile east of the Index-Galena Road.