Rattlesnake Ledge

North Bend, Washington

3.9/5
based on 25 reviews

Details

Distance

5.46 miles

Elevation Gain

2096 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Scott Kranz

Rattlesnake Ledge, with its highest point at 2,078 feet, is one of the most popular hikes in the Seattle area. Located in the Snoqualmie / North Bend Region, the Rattlesnake Ledge Trail is just a short drive from downtown Seattle, Washington, and surrounding areas. Due to its location, the weekend crowds can make this spot a little much for those looking for solitude on the trail.

RATTLESNAKE LEDGE TRAIL:
The hike to Rattlesnake Ledge begins at the trailhead next to the parking lot at Rattlesnake Lake. From here, you can look up and see the Ledge and rock face that you'll be hiking up toward. The trail begins covered under the forest, which can protect from the elements (sun, wind, snow). 

As you get toward the top, the trees will dissipate and you'll get glimpses of the views through them. Near the top, you'll see a junction to go right, which leads to the ledge after approximately one hundred feet. If you choose to go left, you'll head toward Middle Ledge and Upper Ledge, where the crowds will be smaller. Once you've soaked in your views (see below), head back the way you came. 

If you hiked on a warm summer day, head to the lake and reward yourself with a cool dip! 

Note: Rattlesnake Ridge is the ridge of Rattlesnake Mountain. Rattlesnake Ledge Trail makes up the eastern 2-mile stretch of Rattlesnake Ridge (or Rattlesnake Mountain Trail). 

Extending your hike: If you're looking for even more miles, instead of heading back to the parking lot, you can continue on the Rattlesnake Mountain Trail for another approximately 8 miles. You'll reach the West side of Rattlesnake Mountain to Snoqualmie Point Park where there is another trailhead (and your shuttle car). The extra distance climbs over 3,500ft. so in the winter, snowshoes might be required to pass this section of trail in winter months as there is constant snow coverage from December to April. 

VIEWS:
At the top, you have views of Rattlesnake Lake below, and Chester Morse Lake to the southeast as well as many other mountains such as Mt. Washington, Mailbox Peak, and Mt. Si. You can even see I-90 weaving through the Snoqualmie Valley in the distance. 

BEST TIME TO GO:
With its proximity to Seattle, this is a very popular hike. Weekends, holidays, and summer months are when it's most crowded. If you can, it's best to head during the week and early. There are amazing sunrise views as seen in the photos if you're willing to get to the parking area and start your hike 1-1.5 hours before sunrise. 

As the weather turns colder, the crowds tend to dissipate, but please frequently check the weather and bring appropriate gear (see WINTER CONDITIONS section below).

PETS:
Dogs are permitted on leash. 

WINTER CONDITIONS:
If you're looking to hike to Rattlesnake Ledge in the winter, be sure to check local weather conditions before heading to the trailhead. The Snoqualmie / North Bend area can get snow and if the snow level is below the pass, there will likely be snow on Rattlesnake Mountain. With snowy conditions, ice trekkers or crampons along with trekking poles may be needed. 

Keep in mind the forest canopy for most of the hike, so the trail can go from dirt/mud to ice to snow in multiple parts. 

Be especially careful near the ledges as they may be covered with ice and snow and provide sheer cliffs. 

GETTING THERE:
From downtown Seattle, head east on I-90 to exit 32 for 436th Avenue SE. Make a right turn onto 436th Avenue SE, also signed as Cedar Falls Road SE. Continue on the road for approximately four miles and you'll see the Rattlesnake Lake parking lot on the right.

If you enter Rattlesnake Ridge into your car's GPS or phone mapping app and it directs you to 208th Ave SE in Hobart, make note this info is out of date. This road previously accessed the Rattlesnake trailhead, but it now dead ends 7 miles down the road. Please press the driving directions button in our app and load in your preferred mapping app. 

PARKING:
There is a parking lot next to the trailhead, which also serves as the northern parking lot for Rattlesnake Lake. There are vault toilets at the parking lot and porta potties at the trailhead. There is no parking or entry fee for the parking area or hike. 

AFTER:
Need a bite? Head to North Bend Bar & Grill about 10 minutes from Rattlesnake Lake.

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Features

Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

Rattlesnake Ledge Reviews

This hike is somewhere between beginner and intermediate, it is not as easy as most of the reviews would lead you to believe. The other thing I want to stress above all else is that it is not worth doing this hike unless you go very early, during the week and during the off-season. I nicknamed this “Instagram Ledge” because if you dare to go during the warm weather and on a weekend, you might as well be standing in downtown Seattle. It is unfortunate because its a great hike and an amazing view but if you are like me and prefer outdoor adventures as a means to get away from people, this is not the hike for you. Also, if you go during the Spring, bring spikes and trekking poles as it does get pretty slick due to snow on the trail towards the top.

We did this hike very late in the day to catch the sunset and still met people at the top, but very few! We were the last to leave so I suggest going early enough to catch the sunrise or late enough to catch the sunset. Beautiful view from the top. This hike took us about 40 minutes to get to the top but this was hustle as we were running out of day light. Perfect for beginner hikers and a good trail for a little more challenging trail run. Honestly 5/5, the views are unreal with little work to get to them. Some people on here are rating lower for lack of safety bars and amenities but honestly that’s what makes it even better I think. Stay away from the ledge and bring your own water, to me that seems to be common sense. Happy hiking!! And safe travels xx

❤️❤️

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Snowy Hike to Rattlesnake Ledge

Rattlesnake Lake

Twin Falls

Drive Along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River

Little Si

Mt. Si