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Rattlesnake Ledge Trail – Finest Hike Near Seattle, WA?

Hiking rattlesnake ledge

Hiking Lenght: 4 miles

Elevation Gain: 1160 feet

Hiking Time: < 3 hours

Well-maintained and gorgeous trail! It’s a steady incline, but worth it. Did this hike on a Wednesday morning and on my way down, passed lots and lots of people. Definitely get started early to beat the crowds! At the junction near the top, go to the left about a half a mile to another ledge that gives you another amazing view of the lake, mountains, and surrounding towns.

Molly Kitz, Hiker

The more and more I hike in the United States, the more I enjoy seeing all of its incredible trails. In particular, I enjoy hikes with a great view at the end to reward me for my efforts, and Rattlesnake Ledge Trail is on my favorite list.

During my most recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, I made sure to visit as many trails as I could with these types of views at the end.

I found that the Snoqualmie Valley area in North Bend, just about 45 minutes outside of Seattle, had some great options for these trail types.

Some were easier to hike than others, but all gave postcard-worthy views. One day I was looking for a not-so-difficult hike and decided to try the Rattlesnake Ledge trail, and it did not disappoint.

Rattlesnake Ledge Trail Information

  • Highest Point 2078 ft.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking Pass/Entry Fee None

This hike gives you amazing views, and it does not require a long distance to get to them.

Here I’ll tell you everything you need to know if you plan to hike Rattlesnake Ledge.

Starting Point

Rattlesnake Ledge Hiking Trail
Courtesy of Jason Burrows @ Flickr

The Rattlesnake Ledge Hiking Trail starts a short distance from the main parking lot. Just walk around the north side of Rattlesnake Lake, and you will find the trailhead on the northwest side of the lake.

It is clearly marked so you will know where to start. Even before you start, you will see a view of the large rock face. 

How To Get To Rattlesnake Ledge

Rattlesnake Ledge Trailhead

You can easily find the trailhead by putting “Rattlesnake Ledge Trailhead” as the destination in your GPS.

The specific directions are to take exit 32 off I-90 (the 436th Ave exit). Turn right onto Cedar Falls Road SE.

Continue down the road for about 4 miles. You will see the Rattlesnake Ledge parking lot on the right-hand side. 

More hiking trails in the Washington State:

Trail Description 

Hiking Rattlesnake Ledge 
Courtesy of Jason Burrows @ Flickr

Since this hike is pretty popular for its scenery and its views, you will find that it can get quite busy during the middle of the day and on the weekend.

You should plan accordingly to visit during an “off” time if you wish to avoid crowds.

I hear that the sunrise on Rattlesnake Ledge is impressive, so if you’re an early bird, you might want to try and catch it. I never had to chance to wake up that early to watch it.

The trail is an out-and-back hike of about 4 miles in length, and you will reach an elevation of 1,400 feet.

The ascend to the top is gradual, making it a relatively easy hike, accessible to most people, and suitable for families. You can bring your dogs with you on the trail; just make sure to keep them leashed. 

You will see the sign directing you to three different trails at the trailhead. Take the “Rattlesnake Ledge” trail, which is 2 miles. The other two trails go the same way and are ones that you can continue with after you’ve reached the ledge.

As you start the hike, you will walk through a lush forest where you’ll be immersed in large fir trees, mossy rocks, and other thick vegetation, keeping you cool and protected from the elements.

Continuing along, you’ll hear the sound of relaxing water, and there are several areas where you can stop and get a great view from one of the several ledges along the way. 

The trail conditions on Rattlesnake Ledge are excellent as it is very clear and well-marked along the way.

Rattlesnake Ledge Trail
Courtesy of Peter Stevens @ Flickr

You should have no trouble following the signs or the crowds of other people. You’ll see another directional sign when you’ve reached about the 1.9-mile mark. Head to the right, and you will be at Rattlesnake Ledge. 

The view at this point is fantastic. You will be able to see an incredible view of Rattlesnake Lake, Mount Si, Mount Washington, and the Cascades.

You can get close to the ledge and look straight down about 1100 ft. However, it is important to note that it can get very windy near the ledge, and if you are hiking with small children and animals, you may not want to approach the ledge too closely.

A short distance away are the middle and upper ledges, which tend to be a bit less crowded and give you another excellent vantage point. 

Rattlesnake Ledge hike
Courtesy of Michael Matti @ Flickr

If you’re up to hiking a bit further, you can continue from here up to East Peak, which would add another 3 miles or so to your journey, or to Snoqualmie Point which adds a little more than 8 more miles. 

Once you’ve rested a few minutes and taken in the view, make your way the 2 miles back down to the parking lot.

For most, the Rattlesnake Ledge hike time is less than 3 hours up and back.

If you’re feeling hungry after all of the activity, check out the North Bend Bar & Grill on your way back home. You finally locally sourced ingredients and a good selection of craft beers. 

Hiking Rattlesnake Ledge —TIPS 

rattlesnake ledge trail map
Rattlesnake Ledge Trail Map is courtesy of AllTrails

Because of the beautiful view, this trail is very popular with Instagrammers and other hikers and can get very busy on the weekends.

You will want to try to arrive before 10:00 AM on those days because it can be hard to get a parking spot later in the day.

You do not need a Discover Pass to park in the lot. There are restrooms at the parking lot and again near the trail’s end.

The Rattlesnake Ledge weather can unexpectedly change when you reach the top, so you may want to bring a jacket even if you do not need to wear it on the hike up.

It is also important to bring hiking shoes. I personally use hiking shoes for flat feet as I need more arch support but nowadays you can find all sorts of hiking shoes to fit your size and comfort.

Finally, the trail is open year-round, but during the winter, you may need additional gear such as hiking poles, and hiking microspikes because of the snow. 

Best Time To Hike Rattlesnake Ledge 

Hike Rattlesnake Ledge 
Courtesy of Peter Stevens @ Flickr

The Rattlesnake Ledge trail is open year-round, so you can hike it at any time. If you are looking to avoid crowds, you may want to avoid the summertime and the weekends because those are the times that it is most busy.

The trail is best completed on a sunny day, as during the rain, the ledge can be more slippery and might pose a hazard. In the winter, you may need special gear and hiking gloves for cold temperatures to help you trek through the snow.

Overall, the Rattlesnake Ledge is an easy hike near Seattle and would be a perfect way to relax on any day. 

Happy hiking!

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Long Is Rattlesnake Ledge Hike?

The hike to Rattlesnake Ledge is approximately 4 miles long from the start of the trailhead. It is an up and back trail with 1.9 miles in each direction. At the top, you can extend your hike further by continuing to East Peak or Snoqualmie Point. 

Is Rattlesnake Ledge Safe? 

Rattlesnake Ledge is a safe trail and considered one that is fairly easy by most hikers. The ledge at the top does not have barricades, so visitors should use caution and not approach too close to the edge when hiking with children or animals. The rocks at the ledge can also be slippery when it is raining. 

Is Rattlesnake Ledge Kid-Friendly?

Rattlesnake Ledge is a hike that many hikers can do with children, and a lot of people complete the hike with younger kids. Using caution at the ledge is essential. Also, the trail is not stroller friendly, so families with children who can’t walk it may want to consider skipping this one. 

Why Is It Called Rattlesnake Ledge?

The lake and the ledge got their name from an explorer named Arthur Denny. One of the road surveyors on his expedition got startled by a packet of seed pods that rattled and thought it was a rattlesnake. Despite the name, there are no poisonous snakes in the area.