Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rattlesnake Mountain hike

Rattlesnake trail- my first hike after moving to Seattle, and I was waaaay tired. At the end of the 2 mile upwards trail, I was panting hard like the dogs. Yes, the trail is pet friendly, and dogs of all sizes were spotted on the trail. It was fun to see how some big dogs were over enthusiastic and pulling the human zealously up or down the path, while some were very small and were taking one step forward and two steps backward before the human just picked it up and went on their way without hindrance. 
 The whole trail is around 8 miles one way. We reached till the first landmark which was 2 mile up. The path was well defined zig zags cutting through the mountain, with very steep cliff dropping on one side and mountain on the other side, with enough space on the road for two way traffic. Even though I was out of breath, mostly because I was a novice that day, the trail would be classified as a moderately difficult one. Along the path,there were small benches cut out of stone and logs for hikers to rest awhile and take in some breathtaking views of the central cascades and the rattlesnake lake. It was fascinating to see how the lake gradually became smaller and smaller as we went up, and when we reached the ledge, the whole view had just opened up. 

We rested on the ledge for about half an hour. Others who had packed lunch were snacking too. We hiked light with only water bottles and energy bars on us. Because the trail is steep, I would recommend not to carry unnecessary weight as it would make the ascend more difficult. 
It felt nice to sit on the ledge with our feet dangling over the edge from where there was a 1000 ft straight drop, and gaze at the majestic mountain peaks around.

From the ledge, there was still more way to go on till the  Snoqualmine Point , but we returned from there. The way down was 99% downhill, which merited more caution than stamina. The Rattlesnake trail is at North Bend, about 1.5 hours from Seattle. If we had gone further up on the trail, we would have had better views of the MT. Si; now that's a difficult hike, I read somewhere. The Snoqualmine Casino is very near to the Rattlesnake, about a 10 mins drive, and can be an option to chill out after a wonderful day of hike and sun, before heading back to Seattle. 

It was enough experience for the first hike. I enjoyed the workout a lot and had resolved to go on more hikes in the future. The Rattlesnake trail is accessible and comfortable from the month of May till November. I fell in love with the mountains and the wilderness of the grand Pacific Northwest.

To reach there from Seattle: Take I-90 east and get off on Exit 32 (436th Avenue SE) just past the exits to North Bend. Take a right off of the exit, heading south on 436th Ave SE which turns into Cedar Falls Road. Travel about three miles and follow the signs posted for Rattlesnake Lake.

The Pictures:
  • Rattlesnake Lake at the starting of the trail.
  • Along the way.
  • View of the lake from the trail.
  • The Rattlesnake ledge, 2 miles up from the trailhead.

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