Hike the Rattlesnake Dance Ridge Trail

Washington Rattlesnake Dance Ridge Trail

Added by Randy Gordon

Hike up a steep, short, rocky ridge in the heart of the Yakima River Canyon and witness Central Washington in its truest, most beautiful fashion.

Starting at an elevation of 2050 feet and immediately off the gravel parking lot to the side of Canyon Road, begin the uphill charge on the vast, empty Rattlesnake Dance Trail. A few steps in, the tone will be set as to what you are up against.

Although less than a mile and a half in distance, do not be fooled, the trail is not for the faint of heart. It is a continuous uphill battle that, from start to finish, will cover over 1300 feet of elevation gain. It is destined to leave you out of breathe and possibly a little sore in the knees.

The terrain during the fall and spring is often littered with popping colors of the seasonal flowers, a welcoming sight to keep your mind preoccupied. During winter, the ground is frozen and if daring enough to do during the summer months be cautious of snakes.

As you pass the Rattlesnake Dance Trail, follow the used path as it winds and begins to head directly uphill. Pace yourself, as the beginning is tiresome. Catch your breath when need-be and don't forget to turn around and take in audacity of what you have accomplished!

Climbing higher and higher, the town of Ellensburg becomes to be present and the slow-rolling Yakima river bounces around the canyon walls.

Finally, you will notice the buried fence post marking the highest point of the ridge becomes visible. Leave a unique note and witness the notes of others as you relax and take in the views of Central Washington.

Pack List

  • 10 Essentials
  • Hiking Boots
  • Sunscreen (during warmer months)
  • Camera
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



2.6 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1350 Feet



Easy Parking

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How to Get There

6 months ago

Great views...high winds

Awesome hike! But, beware of high winds!

6 months ago

7 months ago

Quick detour from I-90

This was a very enjoyable hike that is not very far detour off of i-90, with often sunnier weather than Seattle. There were already signs of wildflowers springing up at the end of March, and as Randy mentioned it gives great views of the Yakima river and surrounding hills. It is a very steep hike so be sure to wear appropriate footwear so you are not sliding all the way down :) Highly recommended!

7 months ago

Added by Randy Gordon

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