Cedar Butte
February 1, 1998

We were looking for a short hike that we could do carrying our 14 month old, and selected Cedar Butte as a likely destination. I wasn't able to find the trip described in any of the guide books I have, so I thought it might be useful to share. To get to the trailhead, take exit 32 from I-90. Head south for 2.7 miles, and just before a sign for Rattlesnake Lake Recreation area turn left onto a gravel road, which is gated at about 200 yards.
Park here and walk this road for about a quarter mile. The road now turns right, but there's a trail that continues straight ahead, and an easy to miss sign high up on a telephone pole indicating the "Iron Horse Trail". Leave the road and follow this trail along a barb wire fence on the right side, and a small lakelet or holding pond on the left. After another quarter mile or so, the trail rises up to meet the Iron Horse Trail. Easy and flat walking continues from here for the next half mile, where the trail crosses a trestle over Boxley Creek. Just after the creek crossing a well worn boot trail heads obviously south - this is the way up Cedar Butte. The total distance to the top of Cedar Butte is only 1.8 miles, and the elevation gain is 1000 feet. At the trestle, you've come about a mile, but only gained 100 feet. That leaves the last 900 feet of elevation gain for the final .8 mile, so here's where you can start getting your exercise! The trail wanders first through an area that's been logged fairly recently, then climbs up into heavier forest. The trail stays steep all the way to the partially open summit knob, which gives fine views north to Mt. Si and Teneriffe, the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley, Mailbox Peak and, close to the east, Mt. Washington. If you've only got a couple of hours some morning, and want to get a little exercise, you could do worse than this little blob.


Last updated: April 3, 2001