This is the hike where I take out of town guests to give them a taste of Washington. The hike is short, it is a relatively easy hike, and the views are the best for such effort that you can expect in all of Washington. It is also one of the first trails to clear of snow. This is a great first hike of the season to get back into shape for the summer. TRAIL INFORMATION Length: 1.9 miles one way Variety: Out and back, hiking time to the ledge is about 1 hour Elevation Gain: 1160 Trail Open To: hikers and dogs Maps: Green Trails Map No. 205S TRAIL OVERBVIEW You won't find better views anywhere else this close to Seattle. Rattlesnake Ledge is one huge block of rock on the eastern end of Rattlesnake Ridge, towering high over Rattlesnake Lake and the Snoqualmie River valley. Washington Trails Association volunteers have carved a path through the steep forests flanking the rock face. Indeed, the original trail was daunting. It has been largely replaced with a new, more secure, and much easier path. On weekends the trail becomes crowded with children, older hikers, and dogs. You will see all making it to the top From the parking lot, round the gate and walk the old road 0.25 mile to a grassy swath on the west side of Rattlesnake Lake. You bathroom facilities are located here and not bad for a state park. A well-signed path leads off to the right. The rebuilt trail climbs steeply from the get-go, gaining more than 1000 feet in just over 1.5 miles. Of course, the old trail made that gain in just 1 mile. This hike is beautiful on sunny days and the ferns and forest become emerald green when it rains, also a rare and beautiful experience. Bring your camera for both the views and views of the forest. After a seemingly endless upward march, you'll burst though the forest to the rock ledge. The views are unbelievable. The Cedar River watershed is southeast, with Chester Morse Lake dominating the close-in scenery. This big lake supplies Seattle with a significant portion of its drinking water. Look farther east and you'll see the peaks leading to Snoqualmie Pass and, of course, massive Mount Si is just across the valley. DRIVING DIRECTION From Seattle, drive 32 miles east on Interstate 90 to exit 32. Turn right (south) on 436th Avenue Southeast (Cedar Falls Road) and drive about four miles to the Rattlesnake Lake parking area. A sign points to the trailhead; there is ample parking on the right side of the road, near a metal gate. This space will fill by 9 AM.