Seattle WA – Rattlesnake Ledge Day Hike


What? :

This is 4.5 miles long with total elevation gain of 1,400 feet. It is out and back hike on a well-maintained trail through the forest that reword you after the climb with bird-eye views of Rattlesnake Lake below and surrounding mountains.

One of the best short afternoon trips out of Redmond (or Seattle).


Where? :

Drive east on I-90 and take exit 32 for 436th Avenue SE. Turn right and proceed about four miles down the road to the Rattlesnake Lake parking lot on the right.

Google Map Link



When? :

The park is open and easily accessible year-round but during the winter month it can get ice and even cover with snow.

You are in the rainy Pacific Northwest; it rain a lot and do expect there to be plenty of muddy sections along the trail.



Due note 1: Restrooms are available at the lake parking lot and the trail head, NO drinking water. Water is available at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center.


Due note 2: Open dawn to dusk, year-round. Parking is free.


Due note 3: This trail destination can be very crowded, especially on good weather weekends. Come early morning or late at the afternoon.


Due note 4: This trail is Dog-friendly, keep your dog on a leash, especially at the rock.


Due note 5: Although it is uphill hike it is not so difficult and can be done by almost everyone.


Due note 6: Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area is a day-use area only, there are picnic areas, but no overnight camping or open fires allowed.


Due note 7: NO lifeguards, swim at your own risk, Self-propelled and electric boat motors only.




My thoughts:

I’m traveling to Seattle / Redmond for work and when I looked for outdoor destination this hike was recommended for me by a fellow worker.

It is perfect for people who don’t have a lot of time to spare but are still looking to get outdoors. Relatively short drive out of Seattle area, perfect for afternoon outdoor hike.

The panoramic views over Snoqualmie Pass and the lake below is amazing and it is worth the effort.




The Hike:


The trail passes through second-growth forest to the rocky ledges and with the help of relatively moderated climbed switchbacks it will get you to your destination with less effort than you might expect.


From the parking lot, walk a short distance around the north end of Rattlesnake Lake to the trailhead on the northwest side of the lake.

Here you will enter the forest and start to climb moderately along the mountain slop.

At 1.9 miles you will reach a trail junction, short walk up the wooden stairs to the right and you will reach Rattlesnake Ledge.

It took me less than 40 minutes to get to the top of Rattlesnake Ledge from the parking lot.


The large rocky ledge is an exposed with sharp cliffs, make sure to stay safe and not fall over the edge.

The open view from this point is rewording.

The Rattlesnake Lake is just below, and the surrounding mountains, panoramic views over Snoqualmie Pass and forests fill the view.


I want to extend my hike, so I kept hiking up to Middle Ledge and Upper Ledge (0.5 miles up) that provide different views to the northwest. 

I kept hiking for additional mile up the trail and then turned around and walk down to the lake.


During this visit (Sep. 2023) The lake level was low compared to my lust visit and many wood stumps where above the waterline. It was quite warm afternoon and people enjoyed their time on the lake.





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