Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rattlesnake Ledge and West Tiger 3

Rattlesnake Ledge is one of my favorite Washington hikes. It's not easy, but it's not crazy steep like hiking Mt Si (which is in the same area, just the opposite side of the freeway). I'd heard that Mt Si was the ultimate Washington hike, but I didn't think the view was nearly as pretty as the view here. If you're going to come all the way out to North Bend, do Rattlesnake Ledge. If you want it to be longer, hike to the east end as well (I couldn't do it due to time constraints, but I hear it's just as pretty). It's much easier on the knees than Mt Si, and the views are 360 degrees. 

Here's Rattlesnake Lake from the Parking lot.

And after a decent hike up, I was welcomed to a nice, open view of the valley.

And here's the fantastic view from the ledge on a clear, sunny day!

I loved how there was something beautiful to see no matter which direction you turned. This was the view north and west of the ridge.

Looking down you can see the lake. The color looks even prettier from up high.

It was just stunning straight out east!

And the view south is beautiful too! This is definitely my 1st recommendation for a great Washington hike (unless you want to see a waterfall, in which case I'd recommend Wallace Falls).

My hiking book gave West Tiger 3 in Issaquah the same rating for scenic beauty as Rattlesnake Ledge, so I decided to go hiking there a week later. It did have a scenic view, but I was a bit disappointed because it was very distant and considerably obscured by the surrounding trees. It was very steep and a killer hard hike, so I wouldn't recommend it as great payoff for the amount of work you put into getting there.

Though it wasn't my favorite view, I still enjoyed seeing the multiple Sammamish area lakes all in one place.