Local hikes dazzle outdoor enthusiasts

When it comes to hiking, the Sky Valley has it all. From the powerful, free-flowing Skykomish River, to dramatic mountains that feature numerous waterfalls, lakes and creeks, there is a lot to discover. This week, the Monroe Monitor & Valley News is highlighting five popular Sky Valley hiking spots that will leave both experienced and novice hikers coming back for more.
When hiking in the greater Sky Valley region, always remember to have your Discover Pass visible in the front windshield of your vehicle. A Discover Pass is required for all vehicles parked at state parks and lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. The passes can be purchased at the Visitors Information Center (320 Main St.) in Sultan.
Lake Serene
Located near the town of Index, Lake Serene is tucked in at the base of Mount Index. The trail to Lake Serene involves some steep portions and is rated by AllTrails.com as being difficult. It also includes a half-mile detour option to visit the nearby Bridal Veil Falls. Round-trip, the hike into Lake Serene is 7.2 miles, 8.2 when you add in the Bridal Veil Falls detour.
The trailhead for Lake Serene is off of U.S. 2, about 7 miles east of Gold Bar. Visitors will need to turn right just before the highway crosses the Skykomish River, near Milepost 35, onto Mount Index Road. The trailhead is approximately one-half mile down Mount

Index Road, with signage indicating the Lake Serene trail.
An annual Northwest Forest Pass is needed to park at the Lake Serene parking area. Dogs are required to be kept on a leash at all times on the Lake Serene trail.
Barclay Lake
The Barclay Lake trailhead, near Baring, is off U.S. 2 near Milepost 41, directly across from Der Baring store. Turn north from U.S. 2 onto 635th Place N.E., and follow it for roughly 4 miles to the trailhead. The 2.2-mile trail into Barclay Lake is known for being easy to follow, with a low level of difficulty.
"The hike is super easy, and far prettier than the hike in to Lake Serene,GÇ¥ said local hiker and photographer Jim Hardy. "The lake itself is not as stunning as Serene, but it's gorgeous in its own right.GÇ¥
Deception Falls
Just off of U.S. 2, approximately 8 miles east of the town of Skykomish, Deception Falls offers an easily accessible trail filled with numerous bridges, interpretive signage, lookout points and covered picnic areas. The most dramatic section of the falls is just a couple minutes' walk from the parking area, which is on the north side of U.S. 2, just beyond Milepost 56.
Visitors can walk across the powerful falls on a bridge that crosses directly over the thundering cascades of water. A half-mile trail system winds down the falls and weaves through the surrounding wooded area, while interpretive signage offers informational tidbits about the vicinity.
Wallace Falls

Located near the city of Gold Bar, Wallace Falls is a popular hiking destination for both newcomers and experienced hikers. From U.S. 2, turn left onto First Street once you arrive in Gold Bar, and travel north for 0.4 miles, taking a right onto May Creek Road. Follow May Creek Road for 1.3 miles; then follow signage to the Wallace Falls parking area and trailhead.
Dogs are allowed on the Wallace Falls trails but must be kept on a leash at all times. Wallace Falls can be a dangerous area for dogs GÇô last year, a black Lab-Great Dane mix, named Fats, went missing at Wallace Falls and was never found.
The Wallace Falls hiking area, which features a moderate, 1,300-foot gain in elevation, boasts nine sparkling waterfalls.
Heybrook Ridge
North of U.S. 2 near the town of Index, Heybrook Ridge was saved from a planned 95-acre timber harvest in 2008. Through donations, grant funding and a partnership with the Snohomish County Parks Department, the lushly forested area above Index was saved by a group called Friends of Heybrook Ridge.
The hike offers a southerly view of the town of Index, Bridal Veil Falls and Mount Index.
The trailhead is south of Index, off the Index-Galena Road. The parks department is in the process of planning new trails and other enhancements to the area.
For more information about Heybrook Ridge, visit www.heybrookridge.org/history-of-heybrook-ridge.
To see the Heybrook Ridge County Park Recreation Management Plan, visit www.snohomishcountywa.gov/Document


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