The historic railroad town of Skykomish (sky-KOH-mish; pop. 250) is primarily a resting point on the way into or out of the mountains. There’s a café with respectable food, a motel and hotel, gas station, and Forest Service office, but not much else.
Sky River Inn (333 E. River Dr., 360/677-2261 or 800/367-8194, www.skyriverinn.com, $83–145 d) offers comfy rooms right along the Skykomish River. The hotel has a grassy front yard with picnic tables, plus restful river views. This is a popular stopping point for weekend skiers in the winter, so it’s a good idea to reserve ahead at those times.
The historic Cascadia Inn and Café (210 Railroad Ave. E, 360/677-2477, www.historiccascadia.com, $60–85 d) has also long been a favorite among Stevens Pass skiers. The hotel was constructed in 1905, and the back room was popular with card-playing railroad crews. The old depot still stands next to the tracks, but Amtrak doesn’t stop on its way through.
Skykomish Ranger Station (360/677-2414, daily 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day, and Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. the rest of the year) offers recreation tips and topographic maps, books, and current information on trails and campgrounds.
The Maloney-Sobieski Mountain Road provides views of Glacier Peak and deep valleys. To get there, head east from the ranger station for a half mile, then turn left onto Foss River Road 68. Drive about 5.5 miles to the intersection of Roads 68 and 6835; go right onto 6835. When you reach the next fork, stay to the right onto 6846 until the next fork; then go left to Sobieski Mountain or right to Maloney Mountain, with spectacular views on either route.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition