The recreation and hiking trail of the Rattlesnake Ledge is located outside the hydrologic ends of the Cedar River Municipal Watershed neighboring North Bend. The Rattlesnake ledge region is a pleasant hike on a well-kept, albeit busy trail by the forest. At the hiking path, visitors enjoy the beautiful sight of Mount Si, Cedar River watershed, Mount Washington, Rattlesnake Lake, and Chester Morse Lake.
The Rattlesnake ledge trail has several beautiful sights. The trek itself is an exciting experience for the hikers. Along with that, a large lake of about 111 acres attracts numerous visitors, and various small picnic areas accommodate hikers and trekkers as well.
The whole recreational area is the property of Seattle Public Utilities. The property is managed by the same authorities. One more significant thing to be aware of about the rattlesnake ledge and trail area is that the watershed provides 65% unfiltered drinking water to the Seattle region, which caters to nearly 800,000 people.
The Rattlesnake Ledge hike is a perfect option for hikers. The rattlesnake ledge is also a good choice if you want a casual and short walk through the woods. The downside is a bit barren due to the recent timber harvests. But there are various spectacular sights and easy trekking to the trailheads that make the overall hiking experience worthy. But there are various spectacular sights and easy trekking to the trailheads that make the overall hiking experience worthy.
To see a further breakdown of the Rattlesnake Ledge, please visit the official page for the Washington Trails Association. Link to the relevant page on wta.org for the hike.
Rattlesnake Ledge History
Most of the range is under the control of the state of Washington. The Rattlesnake Ledge is preserved as The Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, which is jointly managed by the King County Park and Recreation Department and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. The eastern region of the range, including the ledges, is held by Seattle Public Utilities whereas, The Western part of the ridge including, the large sections of the ridge, is owned by Weyerhaeuser Corporation. The corporation conducts substantial lumbering works at this place.
The Rattlesnake Ledge is a large boulder outcropping. The Rattlesnake Ledge viewpoint is 1160 feet above Rattlesnake Lake.
The Rattlesnake Ledge is a very famous hiking attraction for hikers. The trail of the ledge makes up the eastern segment that is two miles in length. The Eastern portion is comprised of the Rattlesnake Ridge or locally known as Rattlesnake Mountain Trail. There are various recreational opportunities available, including rock-climbing and hiking.
Getting to The Trail
If the hikers are coming from Seattle, they can take a drive from the eastern part of I-90 to exit 32 for 436th Avenue SE. Veer right onto 436th Avenue SE also signaled as Cedar Falls Road SE. Continue about four miles down the street to the Rattlesnake Lake having a parking lot towards the right.
The rattlesnake lake trail is established on the southeast facet of the lake and is a mix of packed gravel loop and barrier-free paved trails that access the lake, parking, and the Cedar River Watershed Education Center. The total length of the rattlesnake ledge trail is 0.75 miles. The rattlesnake ledge trek is easy to hike while visitors can reach the trailhead by foot, by rental cars, or by riding a bike.
In the winter months, the Snoqualmie North Bend area receives a fair amount of snow. But it does not continue to constant coverage, so holding an eye on the snow level may help to plan your hiking trip on the rattlesnake ledge. Many hikers want to experience this snowy hike, but there is a constraint, that hikers do not have vehicles that can make it to most of the Cascade trailheads in winter, and that is the time when Rattlesnake ledge becomes a convenient hiking point.
If the snow levels decrease below the pass level, this is the time when most of the Rattlesnake ledge range getting snow as well.
Once hikers reached the top, they can enjoy the astonishing views of snow-capped trees and a partially frozen lake directly beneath. If you are winter-fun-seeking hikers, proceed on the Rattlesnake Ledge Mountain trail for extra 8.3 miles. This trail leads you down to the West side of Rattlesnake ledge to Snoqualmie Point Park. At this point, there is another trailhead that takes the hikers to climb higher about 3,500ft. For this trail, hikers might need tough footwear to pass this part of the trail in the winter season as there is consistent snow coverage from April to December.
After hiking, some awesome places to stop by for socializing, or to relax and do chit chat about your recent rattlesnake ledge hiking experience, include the North Bend Bar & Grill in the North Bend and Stan’s Barbecue in Issaquah.
Park Facilities and Regulations
The rattlesnake ledge is open from dawn to dusk, all the year-round with free parking. Camping and campfires are strictly prohibited. All kinds of exclusive events or private gatherings like weddings, celebrations, etc. are not allowed in the picnic area. Crowd pf more than 30 people is prohibited.
Drones and other aerial filming equipment are not allowed. Drinking water is only available at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center. Therefore, bring your water or refill your supply from there. As there are no lifeguards, so if you want to swim, it is your responsibility. There is the facility of launch boats available in the park. Also, electric boat motors and self-propelled boats are available in the vicinity. Fishing in the rattlesnake lake is allowed throughout the year. Hunting of wild animals is strictly prohibited. Fireworks are not allowed at all because there is a risk of forest fire and environmental hazards.
Feeding wild animals is prohibited as well. However, dogs are allowed but should be kept with their leash. No commercial activity is allowed in the vicinity of the rattlesnake ledge trail and picnic park.
Navigating the Rattlesnake Ledge
The journey starts from the Rattlesnake Recreation parking lot and descends to Rattlesnake Lake ere turning up the range. From here, there is a quick two-mile hike up to Rattlesnake Ledge, where hikers enter into the dense forest.
In the forest, the trails are less wide due to the dense covering of the trees on both sides of the trail road. On reaching the top of Rattlesnake Ledge, one can enjoy a remarkable panoramic view of Rattlesnake Lake, with Mailbox Peak, and Mt. Si hills.
From here, visitors can see two massive rocks that joined with the height of the mountain. The place is easy to access for the hikers if they continue to hike up the trail. The last ledge is the most difficult to hike. one can say it is the final challenging part of hiking, the rattlesnake ledge.
Once the hikers reached the highest point of the rattlesnake ledge, and more curious about hiking further from the thick forest, the hikers have to hike up for about three more miles. After the distance of three miles, the trail branched up, and there is a series of logging trails in multiple states, some roads are in use while the others are abandoned. Proper directional signs are placed at the sides of the roads to provide correct navigation to the hikers.
At the top of the East peak, the hikers gain an elevation of 3500 feet. From the East peak, the hiking becomes tiring the trail from here ascends to Snoqualmie Point.
During hiking, there are various spectacular points to view. Grand prospect, Windy’s Point, and Stan’s Overlook points are a must stop points. Hikers get glimpses of Russian Butte, Mr. Baker, and Mt. Teneriffe as well.
The hikers can start the hike from either end, but if you want to enjoy the ultimate hiking, it is recommended, to start hiking from the Rattlesnake end to circumvent the crowds and the steeper incline.
The Rattlesnake ledge is located in the western North American marine west coast climate zone. Most of the weather fronts start in the Pacific Ocean and progress towards the northeast Cascade Mountains. As weather fronts progress towards the North Cascades, they are thrust upward by the hills of the Cascade Range, makes them drop their moisture in the form of rain droplets or snowfall over the Cascades.
Due to this, the west side of the North Cascades encounters high precipitation, particularly during the winters in the form of heavy snowfall. During winters, the weather of the rattlesnake ledge is mostly cloudy but, in summers, because of high-pressure systems over the Pacific Ocean, there are usually no clouds or little clouds over the rattlesnake ledge region.
Except for the wintertime, when there is snowfall in the rattlesnake ledge region, the climate of the rattlesnake ledge is most of the time favorable for hiking. It is the reason why the rattlesnake ledge trail is a comparatively easy trail for hikers, be they are beginners or professionals.
While hiking, keep the trail clean and do not litter everywhere. Enjoy the original and true beauty of nature at the enchantment trail. Happy hiking!