Note: Trail conditions and required park passes should be reviewed on the Washington Trails Association Website. Dogs are allowed on all of these trails with a leash. Let’s work together to keep these trails clean!
A popular and beautiful hike from bottom to top, Rattlesnake Ridge has much to offer. This 4 mile round trip hike is perfect for those who want to get a good workout, but not exert themselves. The Dog friendly trail is easily accessed with a large parking lot close to the trailhead. At the bottom is a beautiful lake that is even more breathtaking from the top of the ridge. Since it does get crowded, going early is highly suggested.
When I arrived, the gates to the trailhead were closed due to ice on the road so I parked on the street, suited up my micro spikes and hiked an extra 2 miles to the trailhead. The actual hike itself is only 2 miles round trip and on a typical day, there is a parking lot next to the trailhead. By mid January the ice caves had fallen due to avalanches, however, the hike is still worthy of your time as you will be met with many small waterfalls, with mountains on one side and green hills on the other, and a clear water flowing river. Should you go before the ice caves are down, DO NOT ENTER THE CAVES! Sure the Instagram pictures are cool, but there have been multiple people injured and killed after the ice caves either collapsed while they were inside, or hit by large icicles.
The parking lot was also blocked off by snow so it was an extra 2 mile hike to the trailhead. The actual hike is only 2 miles round trip. For this hike I parked at The Summit parking lot and walked the road under the underpass to a large snow bank which began the extended trail. Micro Spikes were a HUGE help as the actual trail to the falls was solid ice. The area down by the falls was very cold, so sure you dress warmly. Depending on the weather, sometimes the falls will be completely frozen over. It wasn’t when I went, but still beautiful.
This hike was challenging for me. I almost turned around a few times, but decided to keep going. It’s 8 miles round trip and all uphill. My body ached for at least 4 days after lol. Many use this trail to train for Mt Rainier. Near the top of the hike the weather took a turn and began snowing. The winter wonderland view from the top was incredible. Be sure to bring pleanty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and fuel your energy. The sun started to set on my way down and a flashlight was most helpful in making it back safely.
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