Rattlesnake Ledge and Rattlesnake Mountain Trail

OutAndBack • 4 mi • 2500 ft

Long a popular outing for its proximity to Seattle and commanding views of the Snoqualmie Valley, Rattlesnake Ledge is a well-known hiker’s destination. Far less traveled, however, are the trails that continue past the ledge up on to Rattlesnake Mountain and stretch almost 10 miles along its broad summit ridge. For two excellent trip options, either climb to Rattlesnake Ledge if you have just a few hours or head to the solitude of the East Peak and return for a full day’s hike. In 1911, Seattle closed off the Cedar River Watershed to protect the city’s primary source of drinking water, established some 20 years earlier in 1889. For almost a century since, careful stewardship of the pristine waters and surrounding land has left the area largely undisturbed, leaving a semiwilderness right on the doorstep of the nowdeveloped town of North Bend. The elk that occasionally wander through residents’ yards are a testament to the still untamed nature of the protected region. The trails on Rattlesnake Mountain skirt the edge of the Cedar River Watershed and allow the public to get as close to the area as possible without special access. An education center lies along the southern side of Rattlesnake Lake on Cedar Falls Road; it provides information on the natural and human history of the region along with an overview of many of the issues surrounding water storage and use and can easily be reached via a lakeshore trail that originates at the parking lot and is open to foot traffic and bicycles.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: North Bend
Length: 4 total miles
Elevation Gain: 2,500 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate to difficult
Duration: 2-6 hours (depending on final destination)
Season: Year round
Trailhead Elevation: 1,000 feet
Top Elevation: 3,500 feet
Local Maps: USGS North Bend Quad
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Recent Trail Reviews

8/21/2008

We did this as a through-hike, east to west. The beginning is nice and the views at the ledge are really worth the walk there. However, past that the walk was nothing to waste your time with. Logging roads, clear cut areas, blah. Do yourself a favor and just hike up to the ledge, picnic, relax and walk back out.

8/18/2008

If you catch it on a good day, the views are fabulous. Its very crowded to the "first" lookout where everyone seems to stop. But if you go up the trail about another mile the views are better and bonus: less people!

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