To reach the Rattlesnake Recreation Area, take Exit 32 off I-90 and a right on 436th Ave. SE. Follow the main road for a little over three miles before reaching the parking area. The trailhead begins on the opposite side of the lake, accessed via a service road opposite the lot.
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This route begins from the Rattlesnake Recreation Area parking lot and drops down to Rattlesnake Lake before veering up the mountain. From here, begin the short two mile jaunt up to Rattlesnake Ledge by entering a mixed forest, following the often narrow trail as it switchbacks through the trees. Before long, reach the signed ledge, which provides a fairly impressive panorama of Rattlesnake Lake, with Mt. Si, Mailbox Peak, and Mt. Washington dominating the view. Note that from here you can see two more rocky outcroppings higher up the mountain which can be easily accessed by continuing up the trail. The final ledge gives the greatest vantage point and most western view for the more adventurous scramblers to clamber around on.
After youve gotten your fill of what the ledges have to offer, press further up the ridge through increasingly dense forest. At about three miles, the trail begins to open up and cross a series of logging roads in various states of use and abandon. The trail is well-signed and you will have no trouble making your way to East Peak and its resident radio tower and vistas. East Peak marks the end of the elevation gain at 3500ft. From here, the trail is a long and gentle downhill trek to Snoqualmie Point. Along the way, several other viewpoints await the hiker; Windys Point, Grand Prospect, and Stans Overlook are signed stopping points along the way and all offering views to the north, including glimpses of Mr. Baker, Russian Butte and Mt. Teneriffe.
This hike is a great option for those looking to expand on an old favorite and perfect if you want a casual walk through the woods and youre short on time. On the downside, the more recent timber harvests leave some sections of the trail a little barren, but the many views and easy access to the trailheads help to make worth exploring. While you could start this hike from either end, we recommend beginning early on the Rattlesnake end to avoid the crowds and the steeper incline at the end of you hike.