Monday, August 20, 2012
Walks, Hikes and Wanders #18: With a Cast of Thousands (or at Least 40)
On Friday, August 10, the forecast was for sunny weather and and temperatures in the 80s, so Mr. D and I decided that a shorter hike might be a good idea. We got an early start, and made the one-hour drive to North Bend. Our plan was to hike to Rattlesnake Ledge (also known as Rattlesnake Ridge), a hike that is about five miles long, round trip. Before heading up the trail, we stopped to take a look at the new sign and map at the trailhead.
The good thing about this hike is that it is short. The bad thing about this hike is that it is almost all uphill. (That's Mr. D ahead of me on the trail.)
We passed through some beautiful second growth forest.
Just below the top, there was a spot where several trails converged. Sometime, I want to take the trail to the East Peak.
The Rattlesnake Ledge trail is on land owned and maintained by Seattle Public Utilities. On Fridays and Saturdays in July and August they host "Tap Water Tours" of the Cedar River Watershed, which is at the base of the trail, starting at Rattlesnake Lake. Why am I telling you this? Well, it was Friday, and the tours had the added effect of dramatically increasing the number of people hiking the trail. This didn't really dawn on us until we actually reached the Ledge, where we were met by hoards of people! We saw a summer activity group for teens, a girls soccer team with coach, and a variety of other large and small groups, including one group of three adults and a barely-past-newborn baby. While I was eating my lunch, I tried to count how many people were there, and I stopped counting at 40!
Surprisingly, given the amount of people on the Ledge, there are none in my photos. I should have photographed the crowd, just to show you what I'm talking about, but once you are on the Ledge, it's all about the views.
There was beautiful, blue Rattlesnake Lake:
Looking east, we saw the Cascades and a glimpse of Chester Morse Lake.
There was also the sheer rock drop-off of the Ledge itself.
But my favorite view of all is looking across the Snoqualmie Valley to Mount Si.
Maybe, in a month or so, I'll be standing just below the Haystack—that rocky ledge you see on top—taking a photo across the valley the other way. Stay tuned, that day is coming!