You are here: Home Find a Hike Hiking Guide Rattlesnake Ledge

Rattlesnake Ledge

» REI » Amazon

A portion of all book sales from the links above benefits WTA and helps protect and maintain our trails.

You won't find better views anywhere else this close to Seattle. Rattlesnake Ledge is a monolithic block of rock on the eastern end of Rattlesnake Ridge, towering high over the cool waters of Rattlesnake Lake and the Snoqualmie River valley. Looking up from the trailhead, the site is daunting--the rock face looks sheer and impregnable. Fortunately, the cliff face isn't too broad, and hearty Washington Trails Association volunteers have carved a path through the steep forests flanking the rock face. Indeed, the original trail, which was daunting in its own right, has been largely replaced with a new, more secure pathway.

From the parking lot, round the gate and walk the old road 0.25 mile to a grassy swath on the west side of Rattlesnake Lake. A well-signed path leads off to the right. The rebuilt trail climbs steeply from the get-go, gaining more than 1000 feet in just over 1.5 miles. Of course, the old trail made that gain in just 1 mile, so please keep the complaints to a minimum as you slog up the switchbacks. Those new hairpin turns add a little distance to the hike, but they also level the trail a tad, making it a bit easier on the thighs.

After a seemingly endless upward march, you'll suddenly burst out of the forest onto the snout of the rock ledge. The views are unbelievable. Peer southeast into the rarely seen Cedar River watershed, with Chester Morse Lake dominating the close-in scenery. This big lake supplies Seattle with a significant portion of its drinking water. The rest of the watershed is filled with untrammeled forest--the watershed is closed to most human access to ensure that the water remains uncontaminated. Look farther east and you'll see the peaks leading to Snoqualmie Pass and, of course, massive Mount Si is just across the valley.
Driving Directions:

From Seattle drive 32 miles 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 miles to the well-developed Rattlesnake Lake parking area on the right.

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

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

Recent Trip Reports

Hiked here recently? Submit a trip report!
There are 343 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Rattlesnake Ledge — Apr 20, 2014 — Snail
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Mudholes | Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Our group of three humans and one canine arrived around 2:30 and it was raining/drizzling throughout...
Our group of three humans and one canine arrived around 2:30 and it was raining/drizzling throughout the hike but it was still a great time on the trail. There were people leaving so we missed the crowd of hikers! Unfortunately most of the other dog owners did practice poor trail etiquette, dogs were running loose and their owners did not clean-up after their dog. I volunteer for the Prison Pet Partnership Program and have worked with dog training for a few years. It's sad to see that dog owners claiming to love their dog yet fail to ensure their safety.
The trail was in good condition except where a tree was hanging over the trail about halfway up the trail. We definitely plan to do this hike again when it's better weather and we can see more of the view at the top of the ledge!
Read full report with photos
Rattlesnake Ledge — Apr 19, 2014 — maryolso
Day hike
Expand report text Hide report text
Arrived at 8:30am and the trail wasn't too crowded. It was a nice day so we went over to the East P...
Arrived at 8:30am and the trail wasn't too crowded. It was a nice day so we went over to the East Peak. For the last mile there was snow on the trail, but still passable. By the time we got back to the Ledges to go down it was crowded. I have to agree with earlier posts - no trail etiquette, dogs running loose.
Read full report
Rattlesnake Ledge — Apr 13, 2014 — Playapixie
Day hike
Expand report text Hide report text
Like being in line for a ride at Disneyland. A woodland superhighway. The busiest trail I have eve...
Like being in line for a ride at Disneyland. A woodland superhighway. The busiest trail I have ever been on. But it was the first 70 degree weekend day of the year at a popular trail 35 minutes from Seattle, so that's pretty much what we expected. Despite the crowds, it was a lovely day.

Lots of well-behaved kids and dogs on the trail.
Read full report with photos
Rattlesnake Ledge — Apr 07, 2014 — BackpackingRN
Day hike
Expand report text Hide report text
Usually try to hike this during the week to avoid the masses. Today I arrived to cars lining the str...
Usually try to hike this during the week to avoid the masses. Today I arrived to cars lining the streets for several hundred yards before the parking area. I parked in the parking area anyway hoping people were enjoying the BBQ and day use area instead of the hike? Wrong.
Hiked up the trail with my dog as usual. Came across the typical weekender crowd that don't yield to the uphill hiker and think it's ok to offline ash your dog on not a busy but packed trail with a cliff on one side while young children and older adults edge by bouncing fido. I am not opposed to an off leash dog on a less used trail but if it is so packed you are walking like cattle, throw your pup on a leash guys!
That aside, the ledge was packed to the edges but the few "secret" ledges a few more minutes up the trail were much less populated. Shared one with a few guys enjoying a lunch break on their way up to east peak.
Despite the crowds it was still a gorgeous day to feel the sun on my skin and smell the sweet smell of a sun warmed forest.
Read full report
Rattlesnake Ledge — Apr 06, 2014 — Peregrine
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Lovely hike today - plenty of people but worth coming out anyways! The trail is in great shape - I ...
Lovely hike today - plenty of people but worth coming out anyways! The trail is in great shape - I sprained my ankle about a month ago but it's in good enough shape that I was able to go hike with just a brace without issues. Some water on the trail and it does get muddy, so boots are definitely a good call. Lots of wonderful vegetation - early flowering currant and salmonberries, plus a large variety of different forest types as you ascend. Plenty of birds, too - a loon on the lake, displaying Rufous Hummingbirds, Hairy Woodpeckers, Swainson's Thrushes. Even some early bumblebees on the salmonberries.

View from the top (and the chasm in the middle of the top) is not for the lightheaded, but it's quite worth it. Plenty of safe space to sit and not feel like you're likely to fall, though.

All in all, a great hike. The only downsides were the large crowds and their habit of chucking clementine peels into the woods...
Read full report
RattlesnakeTrail.jpg
Location
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District, North Bend office
Statistics
Roundtrip 4.0 miles
Elevation Gain 1160 ft
Highest Point 2078 ft
Features
Lakes
Old growth
Mountain views
Ridges/passes
User info
Good for kids
Dogs allowed on leash
No pass or permit required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails Rattlesnake Mountain/Upper Snoqualmie Valley No. 205S

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

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

Map it
Red MarkerRattlesnake Ledge
47.43345 -121.767533333
(47.4335, -121.7675) Open in new window
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share
Get the Guidebooks

Mountaineers three booksSelect content from The Mountaineers Books' guidebooks is featured in this Hiking Guide. Sales of the books from this website help protect and maintain trails.

> Shop Now

More hikes » Hike of the Week
Columbia Hills State Park (Apr 24)

Columbia Hills State Park

South Cascades

From Dalles Mountain Ranch to Horsethief Butte, the rolling hills along the the Columbia River Gorge are blanketed in spring flowers. Ramble along until you find the perfect picnic spot on more than 12 miles of hiking trails. A meadowlark might even serenade you.

Get Trail News

Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking news, events, gear reviews and more.

What's Happening
GiveBIG 2014 May 06, 2014 Donate to WTA during The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG event and grow your impact on trails!
Hiker Potluck in Vancouver May 28, 2014 Come out for an evening of great food, meet other hikers and learn what is happening on trails near you.
More »