While we were visiting Washington in December, and after we signed a lease, we decided it was time to get out and enjoy the unusual sunny weather. We chose a popular hike in North Bend that was the perfect length that we were hoping for with great views— Rattlesnake Ledge.
Distance: 4 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 1160 feet
Time: 2-3 hours
Dogs: Allowed on leash
This is a very popular hike, but the Rattlesmake Ledge Recreation Area has a lot of parking as well as trails that circle the lake which makes it a great area for locals and tourists alike to visit.
We began the morning at our hotel in Kirkland with a beautiful drive on the Mountains to Sound Greenway on our way there. Google Maps seemed to be confused and said it would be a lot longer than it truly was. When you’re looking up directions, put in Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area to make sure you get to the trailhead. There are lots of signs when you arrive guiding you to the appropriate trailhead.
Once parking, we made our way along the lake for a short period towards the trailhead. Almost immediately into the trail, you are immersed in tall, mossy trees— classic PNW.
The trail climbs steadily for almost the entire hike. Brighton and I felt like it was enough of a challenge to get a little workout in, but not exhausting that we had to stop repeatedly.
There were many dogs and people of all ages hiking along the trail. It seemed like an attainable distance and gain to be welcoming of many.
For most of the trail, you’re in the trees. It’s not until the very end that the view peaks into distance, and you realize what the hype is all about. The ledge is a rocky exposed portion of the hike, so be careful regardless of age. Many people were enjoying a snack and taking in the view.
It was very windy due to it being so exposed at the top, so be sure to pack a layer just in case.
We made our way down on the same path we hiked up.
For more information and recent trip reports, visit WTA.