Hiked this trail on 3/24/13 and it was in great condition. Perhaps not the...
Index Town Wall
Index Town Wall
You might feel like a fish out of water surrounded by so many rock climbers, but if you can brave being the only one not carrying a rope or wearing a harness then you are in for a hearty workout on a wonderful trail rewarded by a spectacular view.
The Index Town Wall is a fitting name for the 1,200' tall vertical granite cliffs on the north edge of Index, and it's easy to see why it would be such a major destination for rock climbers. As such, the trail was built for function, and the early climbers didn't mess around with silly things like trying to make it user-friendly.
The result is a trail with a secret society vibe to it. There's virtually no signage or direction of any kind and several confusing forks in the path with no intuitive choice to continue uphill towards the view.
From the gravel lot, head up to the railroad tracks and follow them east (right) for several hundred yards until you reach an opening for a wide footpath on the north side of the tracks. Take this path towards the Wall, at the base of which is a white sealed tunnel. The trail makes a right and heads into the forest.
At just over a half mile, you'll come across an unmarked Y in the trail. Go right. In another 0.1 mile you'll arrive at another Y in the trail. This time make a left and follow the blue diamond markers on the trees. More leg burning and you'll arrive at a cable fence that bisects a small stream. Hop the cable fence and follow the stream bed up to your destiny.
There are several lookouts along the top of the wall. Find an empty one and soak up the views of Mt. Index and the Skykomish River Valley below. It's well worth the effort and you'll have a great story to tell of your secret lookout.
Permits & Tips
No fees required. No toilets. No water available. Trail maps of this area are primitive at best, but local climbers can help point you in the right direction. Careful of the steep drop-offs at the top of the wall.
How to get there
Head east on State Route 2 to the Index-Galena Road Exit, near milepost 35.
Turn left at Fifth Street and cross the bridge into Index.
Turn left at Index Avenue and cross the railroad tracks.
Left onto Crescent Street.
Turn right onto Avenue A and follow for 0.7 mile until you see a small gravel pullout on your right.
There's no signage, and the parking lot is fairly primitive. Trail begins up the short path to the railroad tracks.