2 - 3
FATMAP difficulty grade
"For a short and relatively easy day hike, it doesn’t get much better than a gently-sloping trail through old-growth forest, a view over Snoqualmie Pass and the Southern Cascades, and a trailhead only 40 minutes east of Seattle,” writes [SwitchbackTravel.com](https://www.switchbacktravel.com/great-day-hikes-near-seattle).
Thanks to the ease of access and incredible reward at the end of the hike, this trail is ultra-popular with local hikers and visitors alike. Don’t let the crowds deter you, as the stunning views from the ledge high on the mountainside are well-worth braving the trail traffic! However, if you can avoid weekends or hit the trail at dawn, you can avoid most of the traffic. The hike begins on the shores of Rattlesnake Lake and ascends a series of switchbacks to reach the exposed ledge.
Along the way, you’ll pass several massive mossy boulders and enjoy occasional views of the lake through the trees.
The views down to the lake allow you to appreciate all of the elevation you’re gaining! While you’ll ascend over 1,000 vertical feet on the 2.25 miles to the ledge, the ascent is never very steep.
The short distance and relatively mellow grade make this a great hike for the entire family or less experienced hikers looking to push themselves a little bit further. From a signed junction about two miles into your hike, Rattlesnake Ledge is located about a hundred yards to the right.
However, there isn’t a sign denoting Rattlesnake Ledge itself. “If you wish to extend your trip, you can go back to the junction where the sign points out the trail to East Peak 2.4 miles away, or the ridge traverse to Snoqualmie Park, 8.3 miles away,” writes John Brink on [WTA.org](https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/rattlesnake-ledge).
Alternatively, you can hike just a little bit further than the main Rattlesnake Ledge to the Middle Ledge and Upper Ledge, "which are usually much quieter and afford more sweeping views to the northwest,” according to Brink. Sources: https://www.switchbacktravel.com/great-day-hikes-near-seattle https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/rattlesnake-ledge