Rattlesnake Mountain

While staying for a few days in Kirkland, Washington, Zosia Zgolak and I visited Rattlesnake Ledge near the town of North Bend on 10 January 2017.  Starting from the shores of Rattlesnake Lake, we hiked the well-maintained trail which leads to three successively higher viewpoints.  The lowest of the viewpoints is the most scenic of the three, and not surprisingly, it is also the most popular.  It is worth noting that the rocks of Rattlesnake Ledge are notoriously slippery in winter, and there have been some fatalities here in the past.  Zosia and I also hiked to the two higher viewpoints, but one of them was too snowy to safely venture out on and the other did not grant views that were any better than what we could already see from the lowest viewpoint.  With some extra time on our hands, we continued hiking all the way to East Peak, the highest point of Rattlesnake Mountain.  Other than the quiet solitude of the forest and some extra exercise, there is little else to recommend about this monotonous extension.  A telecommunications installation occupies the summit, and most of the upper mountain is shrouded in trees offering little in the way of views.  After tagging the summit, we promptly retraced our steps and made it back down the mountain without incident.
That strong with the dark side of the Force. A gnarled tree stands alone on the flats northeast of Rattlesnake Lake.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

The Ledge looks like a summit from here. Rattlesnake Ledge is visible above the trees behind Zosia.
Rattlesnake Grind? Mossy tree branches hang above the snowy trail.

Mount Teneriffe is on my to-do list for this area.

Mount Si (far left) and Mount Teneriffe are visible to the northeast from Rattlesnake Ledge.


Caution: the rocks here are very slippery!

Zosia and Sonny stand on the lowest viewpoint of Rattlesnake Ledge (636 metres).


The views don't really improve that much up there. The two higher viewpoints are visible further up the ridge.
Most people don't bother continuing on to East Peak...and for good reason! Sonny returns to the trail junction for the turnoff to the lowest viewpoint.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Get used to this view if continuing to the summit! Sunbeams scatter between the trees of the forest.
It may be worth coming up here to get away from the crowds on the lowest viewpoint. Sonny stands on the highest viewpoint of Rattlesnake Ledge.  Visible in the distance is Chester Morse Lake.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Can you spot the figure on the lowest viewpoint? This is looking down on the two lower viewpoints (bottom right) from the highest viewpoint.  A small sliver of Rattlesnake Lake is also visible below.
Only recommended for aficionados of tree trunks! Zosia follows a snow-covered trail through the trees.
Kinda spooky and pretty at the same time! Zosia hikes deeper into the forest.
Maybe we should have brought our skis... This is about as open as it gets on the summit ridge.
I bet the views are pretty good from the top of the tower... A large man-made tower occupies the summit (East Peak) of Rattlesnake Mountain (1072 metres).
The Ledge is worthwhile, but the East Peak is only for peak-baggers who need to claim a named summit. Total Distance:  15.3 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  5 hours 10 minutes
Net Elevation Gain to Ledge:  356 metres
Net Elevation Gain to East Peak:  792 metres

GPX Data