Philadelphia Mountain via Lake Serene
Atsuko and I parked at the Lake Serene trailhead and headed up the
trail. We were the first to the lake and enjoyed the spectacular
views of Mount Index, trying to imagine climbing up those sheer walls.
We backtracked a couple hundred feet up the trail and left the trail
to follow the ridge that runs SE above Lake Serene. The first fifty
feet were the worst, passing through a slightly brushy boulder field.
We followed the ridge as it contoured SE above Lake Serene, the drop
down to the lake was satisfyingly vertical. We had some very nice
views of the lake and Index as we followed this ridge.
At 3,200' we turned east away from the lake and followed easy slopes
up the west ridge of Philadelphia Mountain. Except for a few meadows,
the ridge was uniformly covered in trees. By sticking to the north
side of the ridge we caught sporadic views of the Monte Cristo group,
Gunn Peak, and Merchant Peak before reaching the summit of
This was a nice winter trip. Although if I could do it over again I
wouldn't choose a rare, blue-sky day to climb it on, the views aren't
Elevation gain: approx. 3,685 feet
Trip type: scramble
USGS quad: Index
In: Highway 2 Corridor
Reference: Seattle Outdoors: Hiking & Cycling-Puget Sound and Cascades
Car-to-car time: 8 hours 18 minutes
- 24 minutes driving there from Lower Queen Anne to 164th St SW Park and Ride
- 52 minutes driving there from 164th St SW Park and Ride to Lake Serene trailhead
- 1 hour 52 minutes ascending from Lake Serene trailhead to Lake Serene
- 2 hours 49 minutes ascending from Lake Serene to summit of Philadelphia Mountain
- 1 hour 22 minutes descending from summit of Philadelphia Mountain to Lake Serene
- 1 hour 28 minutes descending from Lake Serene to Lake Serene trailhead
Gunn Peak from W ridge of Philadelphia Mountain
Merchant Peak from W ridge of Philadelphia Mountain
West Skykomish Valley from Lake Serene trail
Copyright © 2005 Gabriel Deal.