“the best views in seattle”
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.
Rattlesnake Ledge is a great view, but it is VERY crowded. Not worth hiking the rest of the mountain either if you're looking for good viewpoints.
We usually walk around the lake, never been up in the mountain but lake is okay, it is fun if you have good friends around.
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Rattlesnake Ledge Trail
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