Mileage: 2.6 miles RT (to the lookout)
Elevation Gain/Highest: 900/1700ft
Map: Green Trails Index No. 142
Favorite Eats After Hike: Wallace Falls Café
2/5/2017 We were supposed to go snowshoeing today but inclement weather, high avalanche risk and less than enthusiastic kids caused that to fall through. So, with a late start, I headed up to Heybrook for the lookout and another ramble along the ridge.
Arriving at the TH, I could see the overnight snow had covered the trail. This would be the most snow I have seen on Heybrook yet. I put on rain gear and packed my spikes but left my snowshoes in the car. There were about 6 other cars parked on the side of the road.
The trail was covered with slush and mud the first few hundred yards but then was compact snow to the lookout, except for where the water runs down the trail it was a bare river. I didn’t need spikes but my poles came in handy. Most of the folks parked below were on their way out as I went up.
Once to the lookout, I snapped a few pictures of the winter scene, picnic anyone?
Without going up, I headed back behind the lookout down the service road that runs the ridge. I have been back this way before and taken the road that goes down towards the town of Index, but this time I stuck to the right and on top. The snow was deeper as I went, postholing to my knees in spots. Could have used snowshoes, I guess.
At the junction with the road to Index at 1.42 miles, I could see someone had been up recently on snowshoes from that direction, a local I guess.
Here I decided to follow a little side “road” and wonder off trail in virgin powder for a bit. I eventually looped back and continued along the road.
The road comes to power lines (I now have my EMF exposure for the year) at 1.92 miles but the trees were pretty laden with the new snow so I didn’t mind too much.
I was able to find a spot near the mile 2.2 mark where on a clear day I imagine there is a beautiful view of the valley. I turned around at mile 2.26 and made my way back.
After passing the junction to index, I continued toward the lookout but kept an eye out for the summit of Heybrook Mountain to my right. I spotted it through the trees and headed up offtrail.
It was just a short distance up and was open with the path of the power lines. Figures. Oh well, it was a pretty sight anyway with the snow.
I headed back down on another service road that comes out right next to the lookout and wondered up to the top. There were a few other people there as well enjoying the snowy day. The view was obscured but it was like being in a treehouse with the surrounding trees covered in a mantle of white.
My trip down was uneventful but I did put my spikes on to avoid any spills on the muddy snowy mush. My trip total came to 4.44 miles and about 3 hours of fun. You can see my tracks on GAIA. Below these current pictures are pictures from some of my previous trips.
Previous notes: This is another one of those “done it a million times” hikes for me. It was a quick little jaunt up the road when I worked in Monroe. In fact, when I was training for my Washington section of the PCT, I loaded my pack and did it 3 times in a row. Saw some weird looks from folks, for sure. I’ve gone mushrooming here, as well. It’s a great year round hike and perfect for stretching those legs before or after you get stuck in that famous HWY 2 traffic on Friday night or Sunday afternoon depending on your direction. The first little bit does get the heart pumping but the trail does level out as you go. There is a picnic table at the top and you can wander beyond the lookout on abandoned roads.
Directions: Drive east on HWY 2 towards Stevens Pass. Just pass the road for the town of Index at MP 37.6 you will see parking along the side of the road on the left. Look for a large cross hung in the trees.