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Serene Lake Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Middle Rock Lake is the first stop along the Serene Lake Hike (Jamey Pyles)
Upper Rock Lake is the smallest of the rock lakes, but it is very beautiful! (Jamey Pyles)
Your destination, Serene lake (Jamey Pyles)

  • Start point: Frazier TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Serene Lake
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: out and back
  • Distance: 6.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 900 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer-Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

This hike includes four beautiful blue alpine lakes, and is a prime location for first time backpackers. It is also a shorter alternative to the 8 mile Serene Lake Loop Hike. The trail leaves from the Frazier Trailhead on the Northwest side, and starts out with .8 mile of moderate downhill trail through some huckleberry plants. You will come to a junction which says "Middle and Upper Rock lakes". This is a worthy side trip of only .2 mile and it features two great fishing holes (as well as quite a few campsites). If you take this side trail, it climbs up the hillside to the Middle Rock lake. This is the biggest of the rock lakes. Continuing on this trail, you will stay along the lake shore another .2 mile, then the trail starts to get brushy as you near a swampy area. If you can, keep following this trail through the bushes until you get to open forest again. Upper Rock Lake is just 100 yards up the hill from here (there is one campsite up there). When you are done exploring the Middle and Upper lakes, backtrack to the junction and continue downhill. Just 100 yards down the trail you will find another junction leading to Lower Rock Lake on the right. This lake is about 100 yards down the side trail (there is also one campsite here). Back on the main trail, you will pass a swampy area to the right, then climb about half a dozen switch backs up the hill. On top of the switch-back hill, you are at the final stretch before Serene Lake. This part is fairly level. You should come to a junction about 3 miles from the trailhead labeled "Serene lake" to the left. This side trail leads to a view of Serene Lake, but its not the best view. For the better view and the campsites, continue on the main trail another .25 miles. There will be several campsites on this shore of the lake and a trail which leads around the lakeshore. If you prefer, there is a viewpoint about 1.5 miles up the main trail from Serene Lake. From there you can see Mt Hood and a few other cascade volcanoes. This also adds another 300 ft elevation gain to your hike. Return the way you came.


Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • Fill out Wilderness Permit at trailhead

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 100 Oregon Hiking Trails by Don & Roberta Lowe

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.