Index is the place for you if you are after a quiet, rustic setting to revitalize the senses, plus quick access to hiking, climbing and other adventures in the Cascades. Being off the main highway, the tiny town of Index is without the commercialism of larger nearby towns. Yet it has already been discovered by rock climbers and day hikers making their way to trailheads for the surrounding cliffs and mountains. So you will find some accommodation and dining that caters to these folks. Index might be a bit on the rough side, but try it out as a stop-over on the west side of Steven's Pass.
Here you see the sparkling, clear North Fork Skykomish River. Mt. Index is to the left, rising over 5,000 feet from the valley floor. To find this view for yourself, cross the bridge into town, then take a left across the railway, drive to the end of the block, then turn left again. You will find yourself on the river, with lovely views.