Took some recommendations from a colleague for a "fun, but butt kicking trail" and ended up at Lake Serene outside of Index, WA. Four miles up to an alpine lake sounded pretty sweet on a Saturday and I rallied the troops for the excursion.
The excursion ended up being eight miles of hell - stairs, rocks and steep, steep slopes. We ran out of water and just about killed ourselves getting to the top. The lake was beautiful, but man, we were not ready for that sort of hike! The way down was just as bad, the knees were not loving it. But we made it back to the cars in one piece - even Miss Stellie made it all of the way without being carried. I was very impressed!