From Monroe, Seattle is just 41 miles west. People from the city come to the cascades and the Stevens Pass Ski area for their weekend getaways. But, there is much to see along the way. River rafting, fishing, swimming, camping, hunting and interesting little towns. Above is a photo of the old rusting train bridge west of Index. The Highway is a designated Scenic Drive.
Traveling up Highway 2 toward Stevens Pass, and from the Old Cascade Highway, if you look for them, there are several beautiful falls visible from the roadside. Wallace Falls is a state park with signage pointing the way. It has wonderful hiking trails and beautiful terrain out of Startup. Others, East of Index, including Deception Falls, which is also well marked, are near the road. I suspect that Deception Falls is so named because it falls in layers from way up high, and then another, and another, and another fall adding to its length making it deceptively long. Its a beauty, with good parking.
At Index, a big town grown small, the historical society has an interesting museum run by volunteer docents. Some great pictures and artifacts. In the center of town at a little park stands a huge granite saw blade and we see signs of quarrying in many places. Granite, quarried from Index, can be seen in the steps at the State Capitol in Olympia, the sign claims.
At Skykomish, we spotted this old pick-up with wooden spoke wheels and another oldie last licensed in 1960, according to the plates. We had lunch at the Arcadia Inn. Homemade pies and good food reasonably priced. What a great day trek.