East Rattlesnake Mountain

The past four days had near record rainfall. Over 12" in some places. I stayed home on Saturday as rain continued to pour down. For Sunday I decided to hike up East Rattlesnake Mountain from the Rattlesnake Lake end. I did not get a really early start as I arrived at the parking lot at 7:45 am. At 7:50 am I was on my way. It was about 35 degrees. Cool but not freezing and with no wind. A quick walk around the lake and I started up the trail. I set a steady pace. The small paved lot was almost full. That meant at least ten or so cars ahead of me. I passed a couple groups going up and several groups were already much of the way down. There were some creeks flowing on the trail but it was not bad for so much recent rain. It is a few tenths of a mile around the lake and then 1.9 miles to the lower ledge viewpoint. I arrived at 8:38 am. I was alone for a few minutes. A couple then arrived and a lone hiker with a dog as I was leaving. There was a very distinct snow line on all the surrounding peaks. From the looks of it it was lower than the East Peak. I would get to hike in a little snow this day.

I stopped again at the upper ledge. I could see folks down on the lower ledge. From the lower ledge to the summit and another mile down I did not see a single person. Solitude hiking from Rattlesnake Lake? Well, yes on this day. I guess the closeness to Christmas and all the rain the days before kept the crowds away. By the time I reached the old gravel pit the trees were flocked and there was enough snow to cover the ground. I crossed the road. Some bare ground in forest but mostly snow covered. I could see one set of uphill tracks and the same tracks going downhill. Only one person had been up and down the trail since the snow fell.

The conditions were just about perfect. Enough snow to cover everything. Not deep enough to even need gaiters with low top hiking shoes. No wind. The temperature was right around freezing. I crossed the road the second time and then had just half a mile to go. Where I came out of the forest near the summit the snow was about 3" to 4" deep. I went to the viewpoint and the bench was snow covered. It was 9:54 am. I took 2:04 to hike 4.5 miles including several stops. Mt. Si and Mt. Teneriffe were right across the valley. I took a short break and headed up to the tower. My stay was short. As mentioned earlier I hiked a full mile down before seeing anyone else. I also saw several more groups on the way back to the lower ledge.

I expected the crowds to be out by now. They were not. I did see a number of folks going up or down but it was never close to the normal crowds. By 11:57 I was back at my car. I hiked 9 miles with 2600' of gain in 4:07. On the drive out there were no cars parked along the side of the road. That might be a first for a weekend day. Snow conditions were great. Just enough to make it scenic but not so much that it slowed me down. A fun morning hike done before noon.

Small Waterfall
Lake From Lower Ledge
Mts. Si & Teneriffe
Low Clouds & Peaks
Lower Ledge From Upper
View East
Snow Appears
2 Sets Of Footprints
Looking Up
Some Bare Ground
Snowy Brush
Deeper Snow Near Top
Summit Tower
Snow Bench
View Through Trees
Tower Ladder
Summit Ridge
Mt. Si Haystack
Crossing Road
A Little Brushy
Zoomed Morse Lake
Big Green Rock
View From Lower Ledge
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2019