Rattlesnake Ledge is very popular hiking spot in North Bend, Washington that takes 45 minutes to an hour drive from Seattle. It is a mountain Ridge with view point of surrounding mountains in Snoqualmie valley, Rattlesnake lake and North Bend.
Rattlesnake lake is part of Rattlesnake Lake recreation Area. Rattlesnake Lake is also famous for fishing, bird watching, nature trip and kayaking. There is parking lot, portable toilets, lake front picnic areas and Cedar River Watershed Education center. Cedar River Watershed Education center is located to the south of Rattlesnake Lake that offers visitors a chance to experience the watershed through exhibits, information, watershed tours, field trips and special events focused on Seattle’s drinking water, history, wildlife and more.
Rattlesnake Ledge trail is heavily trafficked trail during Spring and Summers. It is famous among beginner hiker to experienced hiker. It is perfect training spot for person who are trying to get back in shape and start with hiking adventures. Also, it is famous trail among Pet Owners and families with kids. Dogs must be kept on leash. Lot of crowd can be expected during weekends due to its proximity to Seattle and specially on sunny days. Sunny days are boon to Pacific Northwest crowds.
Rattlesnake Ledge trail climb is rated as moderate hike that starts from Rattlesnake Lake.
Hiking Time to Rattlesnake Ridge/Ledge: 1 hour
(one way) for average person
Total Miles: 4 Miles Round trip
Elevation gain: 1,175 feet
It is also often known as Rattlesnake Ridge, Rattlesnake Mountain, Rattlesnake Ledge. So, do not get confused by names.
Seattle is famous for drizzling rain and freezing rain in winter. But this time in 2019, Seattle was hit with 3 snow storms. Generally, in winter North Bend gets decent amount of snow. But with 3 winter storms in February 2019, mountains in Snoqualmie valley are having good dumping of snow.
After long period of cold and unusual snow fall, we decided to drive and hike Rattlesnake Ridge on March 2nd, 2019. The parking lot was clear with sideways pilled with snow mountains and was full of cars. We didn’t expect this because of recent snow falls. We were lucky enough to secure a parking spot and started with our hike.
Path from parking lot to trail head were cleared of snow. Then as we moved on to the trail it was pilled up with snow. For easy and safe hiking, micro spikes and snow shoes were needed for traction. I saw many hikers and families in normal shoes. We were in our hiking shoes and with our hiking poles. Rattlesnake trail was looking like winter wonderland trail with green forest in white snow.
As the trail gets higher up the mountain, the forest becomes less dense, and views of the lake start to pop through the trees. On being near to the top, there is a junction. If we go right, then we are on ledge and if we go Left there is “Middle Ledge” and “Upper Ledge”. Both viewpoints are at little more elevation and with more panoramic views of Rattlesnake lake and Snoqualmie Valley. But due to depth of snow and to avoid slippery situations we decided to enjoy the view from main ledge.
With 2 miles of hike from Rattlesnake lake to Rattlesnake Ledge, we got splendid views of the Cedar River Watershed, Mount Si, Mount Washington, Rattlesnake Lake and Interstate 90 in Snoqualmie green lush valley on a beautiful sunny day with temperature in 40 F. There are signs of not to feed birds. But Robber Jay are very smart and friendly birds to pick your food from your hand within a blink of eye.
After spending some time to capture beautiful shots, we started our hike back down to the trail head. On the way down, I saw many hikers passing by in usual walking speed as they were wearing their micro spikes and some in snow shoes. We also seen many fellow hikers and families slipping and trembling, managing to get back to trail head. My son and hubby were also the lucky ones to slip and glide on slippery snowy and icy path few times but not injured. We safely returned to the parking lot. The view of Rattlesnake lake was mesmerizing.
From Seattle, Rattlesnake Ledge can be reached by taking Interstate 90, exit 32 for 436th Avenue SE also known as Cedar Falls Roads. Rattlesnake Lake recreation area is boon to people who are looking for Snowy hike experience, but don have traction Cars/chains. As hiking in Winter in Cascade Range, one needs to have good traction Car or Chains to reach the trail heads and reliable proper Hiking Gears for safe hiking.
I have hiked Rattlesnake Ledge in all type of weather -Rain, flurries, Snow and days in Spring, Summer , Winter and seen trail with dirt, leaves, ice and Snow. Good Hiking shoes and hiking poles are sufficient for foot safety and comfort.
We hiked Rattlesnake Ledge on Daylight Saving weekend and this time with micro spikes. It was such an ease and comfort to walk on snowy and icy path while descending down the steep cliff.
I strongly recommend micro spikes, hiking poles and snow shoes or hiking shoes for safe hiking. No chance of slipping down the snowy path.
If you have been to Rattlesnake Ledge before do share your experience. We have hiked Rattlesnake Ledge for sixth time this year but this experience of hiking Rattlesnake ledge in snow was truly unique.