If you’re looking for an exciting family-friendly hike right off of Highway 2, look no further than the Heybrook Lookout Trail. The trail is rigorous and steep, but rewards hikers for every step with a stunning view at the very end.

Start off from the trailhead, at the base of the mountain. The trail begins by cutting through a thicket of deciduous forest, crossing several trickling streams on a rickety wooden boardwalk. As the trail turns towards the mountain it quickly begins to climb upward through the ferns and evergreens along a wide, rocky pathway. As you climb higher along the side of the mountain, the sounds of the highway suddenly become overwhelmed by the murmur of wind through the branches. The trail cuts across the lush mountainside in an array of stone stairs and root tangles, turning right as it encounters a mossy arrangement of boulders. Follow the trail as it cuts up along a forested ridge and spills out along the edge of a cliff. The clearing offers views of the mountains on the other side of Highway 2, but is just a taste of what is to come. Continue on the path as it climbs vertically up a staircase of dust and rocks. The tall skeleton of the fire lookout looms high above.

View of Baring Mountain ©Melissa Farage

After hiking up the ridge, the lookout offers seven flights of rickety wooden stairs. Stumble out onto the observation deck below the fire lookout’s lodging to glimpse the spectacular view of the Skykomish Valley. Steven’s Pass and the rocky face of Baring Mountain are on your left while Mount Index’s craggy cliffs are to your right. The white mist of Bridal Veil Falls can be seen below Index, pouring out of hidden Lake Serene.

© Melissa Farage

Distance: 2.5 each way

Season: Summer

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Elevation Gain: 850 feet

Open to: Hikers, Dogs

Passes/Permits: NW Forest Pass

Maps: Green Trails #142 Index, USGS: Index

Facilities at Trailhead: None

Directions: Follow Highway 2 East past Goldbar. The trailhead is on your left approximately 2 miles after the Index Junction turnoff, just after the sign marking the entrance to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

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