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Cedar Butte

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Cedar Butte may be the least visited mountain in the Snoqualmie Pass corridor. The smallish butte stands between the popular Rattlesnake Lake and the remote Chester Morse Lake in the Cedar River watershed area. This butte's lack of popularity, though, has more to do with its lack of publicity than its dearth of scenery. Indeed, Cedar Butte offers plenty of scenic spectacle.

From the trailhead, start east along the wide ribbon of the Iron Horse Trail. When you reach Boxley Creek, you have another 0.25 mile or so before finding the start of the well-established path (about 1 mile from the parking area) up Cedar Butte. Turn right (south) onto the sometimes-signed Cedar Butte Trail.

Signage is only "sometimes" because this is technically an unofficial trail--the signs are installed and maintained by unauthorized volunteers rather than official agency staff. Still, even if the signs are down, the trail gets enough use and maintenance that it is easy to find if you look for it.

After leaving the Iron Horse, you'll cross an old logged-over area, then climb steeply up the face of Cedar Butte. Once at the summit, enjoy the expansive views to the north--Mount Si, Teneriffe, and Mailbox stand tall on the horizon.
Driving Directions:

From Seattle drive east on I-90 to exit 32 (436th Avenue SE). Turn right (south) on 436th Avenue SE (Cedar Falls Road SE) and drive about 4.5 miles, passing the Rattlesnake Lake parking area, until you find the Iron Horse Trailhead parking area on the left.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 100 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Cedar Butte — Apr 17, 2014 — Louise Penberthy
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Water on trail
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The driving directions for this trail say it's 4.5 miles from I-90, but my odometer showed just 3. ...
The driving directions for this trail say it's 4.5 miles from I-90, but my odometer showed just 3.

The trail was fine, filled with water in a few places, but passable.

It was a rainy Thursday afternoon, so I didn't see anyone else on the trail.
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Cedar Butte — Apr 10, 2014 — Mariah_&_Volly
Day hike
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Lovely trip up Cedar Butte with the dog, we met maybe 6 other people and 3 dogs during our hike. ...
Lovely trip up Cedar Butte with the dog, we met maybe 6 other people and 3 dogs during our hike.

No snow on the trail, not too muddy, the path was in great shape.
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Cedar Butte — Mar 29, 2014 — cmichaelkelly
Day hike
Issues: Mudholes | Water on trail
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Lots of water on the trail, but could have been done in athletic shoes. We arrived at approximately ...
Lots of water on the trail, but could have been done in athletic shoes. We arrived at approximately 1030 and didn't see a single person on the trail. 1 hour up, 30-45min down. No view at the summit because of the clouds. A quick elevation gain, but definitely an easy hike.
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Cedar Butte — Feb 08, 2014 — Neature
Day hike
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For about the first 1/2 mile of the hike take the Iron Horse Trail. Shortly after crossing Boxley Cr...
For about the first 1/2 mile of the hike take the Iron Horse Trail. Shortly after crossing Boxley Creek the trailhead will be on your right. From there the hike is about a mile to the summit, mostly uphill switchbacks. The view at the top is splendid, but I would recommend this hike only on a clear sunny day. While the hike through the woods is pleasant the view at the summit is what makes it a fantastic hike!
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Cedar Butte — Jan 05, 2014 — Maddy
Day hike
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This is a nice shoulder season , snow free hike alternative to Rattlesnake Ledge. The trailhead is ...
This is a nice shoulder season , snow free hike alternative to Rattlesnake Ledge. The trailhead is adjacent to the Rattlesnake Ledge trailhead. Free parking at Rattlesnake Ledge. $5 parking 200 ft to the east at the John Wayne Railroad grade trailhead.

Walk 1 mi on the flat John Wayne rails to trails route. The take off for the true trail is 100-200 yards beyond the Boxley Creek. There is a false trail about 100 feet beyond the bridge. The real trail has a subtle sign 10 feet up a tree.

1/4 mi into the hike there is an unmarked split in the trail with an arrow on a stump pointing to the right. Both trail will meet up at Saddle Junction in about 1 mi. The left trail is a bit steeper and shorter. Both are in good shape.

Nice slot view from the top of Mid Fork Snoqualamie River Valley.

I will admit that I think that Rattlesnake Ledge is much nicer, sunnier and has a better view but this is a great alternative to avoid the crowds.
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cb_view.jpg
The view from Cedar Butte
Location
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Washington State Parks
Statistics
Roundtrip 3.0 miles
Elevation Gain 900 ft
Highest Point 1880 ft
Features
Old growth
Mountain views
Summits
User info
Good for kids
Dogs allowed on leash
Discover Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails Rattlesnake Mountain/Upper Snoqualmie Valley No. 205S

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerCedar Butte
47.43345 -121.767533333
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