Heybrook Ridge convinced me that I do not get up to the Index area enough.
I’ve been doing a lot of hiking in the I-90 corridor, simply because it’s quick and easy to get to, and there are plenty of hikes without snow in the area. As someone who is new to winter and snow hiking, I still feel pretty leary about the idea of snow hiking in general, and especially solo snow hiking. And when there is any avalanche risk on a given hike, I won’t get near it! I don’t have the knowledge, experience, or desire to hike in a place with any avalanche risk at all — even a low risk area.
I’m so happy we took a day trip to Index to do a hike that also had no snow (okay, there was a little bit of slush near the top) and which brought us to a different region. The mountains look quite distinct from the I-90 area mountains and the Index area is just stunning. While it’s a little more of a drive than the North Bend hikes, it’s 100% worth it.
Heybrook Ridge Hike Review
Distance from Seattle: 1 hour 15 minutes
Accessibility: Entirely highway and paved road
Length: 2.8 miles miles round trip
Difficulty: easy. It’s short with gentle elevation gain.
Trail views: striking mountain views
Overall rating: 8/10
Heybrook Ridge is a high bang for your buck type of hike. It doesn’t require strenuous physical activity, the trail through the forest is enchanting, and the views are fantastic at the top. Seriously, what more could one ask of a 2.8 mile hike? The trail is also easy on the ankles and knees; it’s a softer trail.
Most of the trail is through the forest; it’s not until you are near the top that you get any mountain views. Which was fine by us! We had a lovely time appreciating the peaceful forest along the way to the summit.
About half way up the hike, there was this absolutely gorgeous little “snack spot”. There were some mini waterfalls and a creek, as well as a bench to sit and take it all in.
Then there was the final bit of the trail that led us to these spectacular vistas! It was pretty exposed, so if you visit, be sure to wear sunscreen and other forms of sun protection.
After the hike, we headed to Forks of the Sky State Park area to have a late lunch on the riverside. While it wasn’t the most comfortable spot (there was no sand, just rocks) we still loved being near the waterside for a bit.
Our picnic spot for the day
Index packs a punch. It’s a great value for your efforts to spend a day in this gorgeous area. Let me know if you make it out to Heybrook Ridge and Forks of the Sky!