Hey look, it’s an old-fashioned Stairmaster!

Photo by Lisa Brunette

Trail Name: Heybrook Ridge

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 2.5 miles round trip

Let’s hear it for the volunteers. They rallied to save this chunk of forest outside Index, about 30 minutes this side of Stevens Pass. From a small parking area just off Highway 2, a well-mainained trail ascends quickly up the hillside, pausing for only a few switchbacks. Eventually it traces the top of the ridge line under semithick tree cover, finally reaching a clearing after about a mile and a quarter.

The 73-foot lookout tower above is an intimidating climb after the uphill slog, but the view only gets better. In 2008, this swath was targeted for logging; the nearby town of Index raised $1.2 million to buy 100 acres and the Everett Mountaineers club restored the 1964 structure.

Watch For: Mount Index is the square, sheer mountain you see directly across the Skykomish Valley to the south. You’re looking at the steepest side—mountaineers scaling Index generally approach from the opposite, shallower side.

Getting There: From Monroe, take Highway 2 east 23 miles to a parking area on the left, two miles past Mount Index Road. Northwest Forest Pass required.

Time From Seattle: 1 hour 15 minutes

Find more Seattle-area trails here.

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