I honestly don’t know if I can say enough about how gorgeous Rattlesnake Ledge is. When we found the correct side of the mountain for the trail we were seeking we were surprised to find a lake there: Rattlesnake Lake. When we arrived, it was very tranquil. Parking is close to the lake but separate enough you don’t notice the cars and you feel you are out in nature. There were some old dead tree stumps in the water and a couple of boats. If we had time we would have gone back to play in the water. I would love to return one day and just spend a whole day at the lake.
The hike is easy to get to from the lake and in the brochures it is labeled as a moderate hike. You gain over 1100 feet in elevation in two miles. It is tough but doable. If you have ever done Multnomah Falls, in Oregon, you can do Rattlesnake Ledge. The hike up is pretty and you are surrounded by old trees. You quickly lose sight of the lake and we found ourselves noticing the completely natural area. The temperatures that day were pretty good for a hike like this. We were warm but not too hot. It was easy enough to peel off layers and continue on. Of course, most of us had built up a sweat by the time we made it to the top, except my son. He is crazy fit and hadn’t worked up a sweat. In fact, he was the only one that had a chill. Rotten kid!
We hit the top and the first thing my oldest did was say “Worth it!” The views are spectacular. You literally hike up to a ledge that is open on three sides. There were many people picnicking up there but it did not feel crowded. Although, I did have a minor panic moment when I watched a young girl balancing on the balls of her feet on the edge of the ledge to pack up her food. I kept eyeballing her to make sure she didn’t go over.
If you looked down, you could see the lake below and towns off in the distance. The view was panoramic and miles out. The cliff ledge itself had different levels to it so you could move around to see the lake more or the mountains more. Tons of birds were around because, of course, there is a ton of food on the ground from picnickers and we were also so high up.
After hanging out for a bit we headed back down, which was much easier than the up, and got caught in a downpour. We were soaked and cold by the time we made it back down to the lake but I can’t really complain about it too much. It was well worth it and since we weren’t camping out it was easy enough to get in the warm car and head back to the hotel.
I would do this hike over and over again in all seasons and be happy. And would love to return to the lake to hang out.
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I love spending time with my family doing all the wonderful activities in the Inland Northwest.