This past weekend was the hottest of the year thus far, so I decided to ease into hiking in heat by tackling Heybrook Lookout. Located off US Highway 2 in Index, this hike is a very short 1.25 miles up with nearly 900 feet of elevation gain to the lookout. The first half of the trail leading to the top is the steepest, but it’s mostly shaded by tall trees and then levels off after the initial trek uphill.The trail is well-maintained and easy to navigate, and there was no litter on the hike (always a pleasant surprise!). There is a viewpoint near the top, where you have your first view of the mountains–we took pictures at this point but reached the lookout tower within minutes of continuing on the trail. The last stretch consists of climbing almost 100 stairs to the top of the tower, where we were rewarded with gorgeous 180° views of Mount Baring, Mount Index and Mount Persis. I would highly recommend this hike as a beginner’s alternative to Rattlesnake Ledge, as it has a great payoff for being easy/moderate difficulty.