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Heybrook Lookout

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Short and sweet and a tad bit steep, the hike to the restored Heybrook Lookout makes for a good spring warm-up or late fall frolic, when the surrounding high country is buried deep in snow. From the lookout's lofty balcony, scan the scenic Skykomish Valley, relish the rugged beauty of Ragged Ridge, and stand impressed by Mount Index's imposing facade.

Quickly leave the busy highway behind and enter a cool, mossy forest of second growth. After angling east at an easy grade, the way reverses direction and steepens. Via a series of tight switchbacks the trail meanders upward under an emerald canopy. Pass by giant cedar stumps, evi-dence of past logging. Their blackened scars confirm that even moist forests like this one are subject to fire.

Approach a series of boulders carpeted with moss. Swing east once again and crest the ridge, highway noise now replaced by thrush and wren song. In early season search the forest floor for signs of spring. A blooming trillium qualifies. Continue along the ridge on a gentler incline to eventually bust out of the forest on a ledge just below Heybrook's fire lookout. The views here are good, but they're far better from the top of the 67-foot lookout tower perched on the 1700-foot ridge.

Ascend seven sets of stairs and behold a supreme view of the Skykomish Valley spread below you. First, gaze east toward Stevens Pass and ominous Baring Mountain. Then look west to the forks of the Skykomish-mighty good white water down there. Finally draw your attention south to the massive and awesome rock wall known as Mount Index. Snowfields perpetually cling to its precipitous crags. Bridal Veil Falls careens out of a cleft housing Lake Serene.

The hike out is short so there's no need to return just yet. Hang around awhile and watch the evening sky cast a crimson hue on the impressive and imposing landmark Index. And don't forget to give thanks to the Everett Mountaineers for making all of this viewing possible. It was their idea and hard work that restored the 1964 lookout.
Driving Directions:

From Everett follow US 2 east for 37 miles (approximately 2 miles east of the steel bridge crossing the Skykomish River) to the trailhead (elev. 850 ft), located on the north side of the highway just after entering Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 144 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Heybrook Lookout — Apr 13, 2014 — Pitts
Day hike
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Great day hike today. Trail was mostly dry, just a couple short wet stretches....
Great day hike today. Trail was mostly dry, just a couple short wet stretches.
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Heybrook Lookout — Apr 02, 2014 — OutdoorDan
Day hike
Issues: Mudholes | Water on trail
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Made it out today with my dad on the odd for me Wednesday off. It was a pretty decent day for this ...
Made it out today with my dad on the odd for me Wednesday off. It was a pretty decent day for this view hike but clouds kept Mt. Index and the other taller peaks mostly hidden. We were the only people there when we arrived at the trailhead with a car of 3 pulling in as we were leaving. Alone for the duration of the hike, not unexpected on a weekday and just the way we liked it.

The trail up to the fire lookout is steep at first then lightens a bit to a sane pace in the climb to the top of the ridge. The trail overall is in great shape and snow free to the top. There were some spots with minor water and mud along the way but nothing serious. I'm sure it was much worse several days ago in the rain. Views at the top were good but clouds blocked out most of Index and Baring. You could see well up the valley east towards Stevens Pass though. Nice warm up to climbing in the weeks ahead as the higher hikes start to thaw out.
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Heybrook Lookout — Mar 27, 2014 — Sawathetreehugger
Day hike
Issues: Water on trail
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Great short day hike! Set out about noon and reached the lookout just before 1pm. Pretty wet conditi...
Great short day hike! Set out about noon and reached the lookout just before 1pm. Pretty wet conditions all the way up, lots of tree drip. Some mud on the trail near the end but nothing that is impassible. I'm sure during sunny days the view from the lookout is amazing (not much to see through the cloud and fog cover today).

Once you turn around the bend away from HWY 2 you are immersed in a mossy forest. It becomes surprisingly quiet being relatively close to the road. My dog and I were the only hikers on the way up and encountered 5 hikers on the way back down (Naturally the sun came out as we were on our way back down).

Directions are spot on, just past MP 37 there is a large gravel parking area on the north side of HWY 2.
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Heybrook Lookout — Mar 21, 2014 — Rae III
Day hike
Issues: Mudholes | Water on trail
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We went up to the outlook on a relatively nice day. Highs in the 50s and only slightly cloudy. The t...
We went up to the outlook on a relatively nice day. Highs in the 50s and only slightly cloudy. The trail itself was in good condition. It was a little muddy here and there and towards the bottom there were a few places where small water flows merged with the trail. The water was never too high, though, so as long as you have decently thick shoes, you can plow right through. The bottoms of my hiking shoes had no problems protecting my feet whatsoever. Most of the first part of the trail is in the trees, and it can be rather cool without direct sunlight. I had to wear my headband to keep my ears warm. But once we broke through the trees and into direct sunlight at the top, it got rather warm and I had to take my jacket off. All in all, though, a good, fun, short hike. Took us about 2 hours including stopping at the top to eat lunch.
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Heybrook Lookout — Mar 12, 2014 — Mindy
Day hike
Issues: Mudholes | Water on trail
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This was a very pleasant hike on a gorgeous day. The trail was in good condition, although there was...
This was a very pleasant hike on a gorgeous day. The trail was in good condition, although there was quite a bit of running water and several mud holes. There were a few little water falls along the way up and some small patches of snow in the shaded areas around the lookout. There were a few mosquitoes but not too many yet and I didn't end up with any bites. This is a great trail for kids because it is nice and short, the mud and waterfalls were a hit, and the lookout was a nice "goal" for them. There is a picnic table at the lookout.
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Heybrook Lookout Ben Martens.JPG
WTA worked here!
2011, 2013
Location
Heybrook Lookout (#1070)
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Statistics
Roundtrip 2.6 miles
Elevation Gain 850 ft
Highest Point 1700 ft
Features
Mountain views
User info
Northwest Forest Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Green Trails Index No. 142

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerHeybrook Lookout
47.8083666667 -121.5352
  • Trail Work 2013 Frontcountry
  • Fire Lookout Hikes
  • Trail Work 2011
(47.8084, -121.5352) Open in new window
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