Rattlesnake Ridge
June 7, 1998

Earlier this year we had taken Bryden up to the Rattlesnake Ledges - a nice short hike up to some good viewpoints. Today we decided to take the same trail, but this time continue on to the high point of Rattlesnake Ridge, the long east-west ridge that runs from Highway 18 to the edge of the Cascades. The new parking area had been completed since we had been there before, and it was packed on this sunny late spring day.

Bryden and Maren on Rattlesnake Ridge
Bryden sporting his cap jauntily on Maren's back

We headed onto the trail anyway, noting that a fair number of the people were enjoying themselves around or on the lake. The trail was still fairly crowded all the way to the ledges, but it seemed that most of the folks stopped there for the view and didn't continue on. Past that point there were far fewer people, and the trail meandered happily though young forest, occasionally breaking out into clearings that offered expansive views to the south.

The next destination for people, it seemed, was a large pile of slash and logs - there were some nice sitting places here, with good views, and a number of people stretched out in the sunshine. Continuing on past this, we started to have the top of the ridge to ourselves, only bumping into three more people on the way up. Past the slash pile, the trail quickly breaks out onto old logging road (and now access to the radio towers on top, I suppose), making it easy to walk, since motorized vehicles can't handle very steep slopes. We took the long way around the north side of the summit ridge, then wound our way back east to the summit, stopping just short of it along a wooded patch of trail for a picnic lunch.

Bryden and Maren having lunch on Rattlesnake Ridge
Bryden and Maren having lunch on Rattlesnake Rdige

After lunch we walked to the top for a photo opportunity, and noticed large, dark clouds building ominously in the head of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River valley. Deciding a ridge top was not the place to be if a thunder storm was brewing, we wasted no time in cruising down the mountain, taking the shorter way back along the south side of the summit ridge. We heard a few rolls of thunder as we descended, but managed to make it off of the ridge and back into the forest before the storm even came close to approaching us. On the way down we ran into an intriguing looking couple that had removed their shoes and were hiking, I assume to the top, in bare feet. The old roads were pretty rocky, so I hope their soles were tough! The gathering thunder storm was obvious, so I didn't feel the need to give them any warnings about the weather - besides, it looked like they were purposely seeking out the ridge to be there when the storm broke, possibly to enjoy a naturally provided shower on this warm afternoon. We continued our descent, finding no one left at the log pile, but hearing plenty of voices as we once again approached the ledges. Trying to out race the rain that we were sure was coming, we rolled on down the steeper portion of the trail, and managed to get back to the cars just as the first drops started falling. By the time the cloud burst had started, we were happily dry and warm, and heading back east along I-90 towards home.

Here comes the rain on Rattlesnake Ridge
Here comes the rain!

Last updated: February 4, 2003