Heybrook Lookout

Heybrook Lookout

By: Shelby May 1, 2016 5:40 pm 0 comments

There’s a trailhead on the side of Highway 2, just inside the National Forest boundary, that we’ve often sped past as we head east into the mountains. Its proximity and mystery always intrigued me. There are never many cars parked in the modest lot, and no features ever stood out besides the steep wall that the trail must have hugged. No road sign calls it out as an attraction. Finally, I remembered to look it up when I had signal, and learned about the short, steep trail to the Heybrook Lookout.

Heybrook-header

We wanted to squeeze in a quick hike to try to make up for the lack of hiking lately, and the weather is perfectly sublime this weekend. Being just over 2 miles long, this one had never seemed like a hike really worthy of doing on a “designated hiking day,” but as a quick morning leg stretcher, it was perfect. We wanted to be back in Seattle by early afternoon to run some errands and do some yard work, but still get a new adventure in out in the wilderness.

We actually got up and out of the house at a decent time, and made it to the trailhead just after 10. The trail doesn’t joke around and shoots straight up the hill. It’s so short though, that by the time we were just getting warmed up, the trail was leveling out at the top. Then BAM, there’s a clearing with an awesome mountain view, and WHOA, there’s the lookout!

The trail was in good shape except for a couple of blow downs that I had to either hurdle over or crawl under, but nothing too bad. We ran into a few large, friendly groups on the way up and at the top, but the crowds weren’t too bad. We were mostly alone on the hike up and down, and spent the majority of the hike discussing the latest updates and idea that Spenser is working on for his D&D campaign. The best way to build a story about being in the woods is to actually be in the woods, right?

Since buying and moving into our house, I’m really starting to notice plants. Right now, our backyard is absolutely engulfed in noxious weeds (my favorite new term that also adequately captures how much I hate this stuff), so our after-work and weekend project for the past couple of weeks has been pulling out the english ivy and small infestation of blackberry canes that seem to appear daily. We’ve got quite a shady backyard, and after the tangled mass of ivy and thorny blackberries is gone, I’d love to replace it with the types of native ground cover that we see constantly hiking through the forest. Pacific Bleeding Heart is a ubiquitous one that I’ve noticed blooming lately, and its blooms were out in force on the trail, and later at the nursery that we stopped by after the hike (where I also picked up another native plant, my beautiful new maidenhair fern).

We also saw a ton of birds and chipmunks out and about, mostly trying to beg for snacks from the crowd of humans in the large clearing at the top. But, we all left no trace, and the animals had to go find their own snacks.

The lookout!

The lookout!

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Gray Jay

Gray Jay, Camp Robber

Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay

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Heybrook-S-2

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Heybrook-S-6

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Mount Index and the basin of Lake Serene

Mount Index and the basin of Lake Serene

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We did it!

We did it! Now we can run errands

All in all, it was a great start to the weekend! What a great day to be outside.

No Pass or Permit required.

Total mileage: 2.6 miles
Total elevation: 850 ft
Hiking time: 50 minutes

Directions: Heading east on Highway 2 from Everett, drive just past mile marker 37 to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest sign, and park on the north side of the road.

Bonus: here’s Ferny, my new fern. Let’s all hope she doesn’t die on me.

Ferny.

Ferny.

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