About 34 miles east of Seattle is the most popular hiking trail in all of Washington State. The Rattlesnake Ledge Trail zigzags through the woods and, along the way, offers stunning views of Rattlesnake Lake, North Bend, and the surrounding ridges.
The trail is within an hour’s drive of Seattle. It’s a relatively easy trek for seasoned hikers and trail runners, but if you don’t want to complete the full 5.3 miles, there are multiple stopping points that overlook the lake. Plus, it’s kid and dog-friendly, and there’s free parking.
Despite its name, there are no rattlesnakes at Rattlesnake Lake or on the trail. According to local lore, it earned the name in the mid-1850s after a road surveyor heard the rattle of seed pods in the area and thought it was a rattlesnake. He was mistaken. However, you might see birds, squirrels, and deer, and, if you’re lucky (or unlucky), maybe a black bear or cougar, as they live in the area as well.
Hikers enjoy the trail’s views and quality but also comment on how crowded it can be. The trail reportedly receives an estimated 300,000 visitors each year. Fortunately, it’s open year-round, and most of the visits happen during peak hiking season, which means between April and whenever it starts snowing.
If you do embark on a Rattlesnake Ledge hike, bring water and snacks. For more information on Rattlesnake Ledge Trail, check out the Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area & Trails website.
Have you done this hike? Tell us in the comments below.