Rattlesnake Ledge is the most popular trail in the Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, taking hikers from Rattlesnake Lake to fantastic viewpoints on the cliff faces far above. With a little legwork through lovely second growth forest, hikers are rewarded with stellar views of the valley below, Rattlesnake Lake, Mount Si, Mount Washington and others via a Lion King's “pride rock” moment. This is a great hike for beginners, who can reward themselves with a cool swim in the lake.
Rattlesnake Ledge is only 45 minutes east of Seattle up I-90, traffic permitting. The parking lot is large, and the trailhead (just northwest of the parking lot) can be a bit hard to find amongst the cars and parking loops for first-timers. Walk back up to the entrance of the parking lot and cross the street, and you'll see signs for the trailhead, which goes along the north shore of the lake before ascending the mountain through lush woods and boulders.
The trail gets busy, so either start early, late, or mid-week to beat the crowds.
No entrance or parking fees.
Rattlesnake Ledge is a popular trail with children, but due to the sheer drop-offs, monitor children closely at the viewpoints and approach with caution.