Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Heybrook Lookout

Mount Index and Persis shrouded in snow-bearing clouds

The Heybrook Lookout Tower hike is another one of those shorter hikes that is very accessible 365 days of the year. Though very popular, often on the weekdays you will not see a car at the highway-side trailhead . . . your clue that you can have the trail to yourself.

Heybrook Lookout overlooks the Skykomish River valley and southward into the Index/Proctor Creek Drainage (FS62). The trailhead is a mile or so east of the Index-Galena Road turnoff and the Espresso Chalet . . . a large gravelled pulloff on the north side of SR2 just as you pass the sign announcing your entering of the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

The trail is a short one and a half miles long, moderately steep under dense canopy until you reach a breakout on the ridge just below the line-of-sight clearcut for the lookout. During the summer fire season the lookout is manned by fire lookouts on the topmost level. During the off months the lookout is unoccupied. The level below the lookout cabin is open year-round for hikers to enjoy.

Coming out of the canopy on the ridge just below the lookout

An image of the Lookout taken on a previous (nude) visit.

Enjoying a snack break and the panoramic views.

Standing way up there and surveying the mountains around you is a trip! Best of all, you can see the trail approaches down below with plenty of warning of approaching hikers. I like to linger and enjoy a sack lunch from my aerie. The only downside is that the cooler wind gusts can cool you down pretty quickly and there is scant cover up this high.

I wonder if they had me in mind with this reward poster?

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