Rattlesnake Ledge, 05/22/11

A couple of months ago, I got out on the trail for the first time this year–a friend is getting married and, though new to Seattle, he’s in to hiking; I and several other friends went out to nearby Rattlesnake Ledge while the ladies (and the baby) had brunch.

While I can’t recall too many details from the hike, I will say it felt good to get moving—even with the fast food sitting immobile in the pit of my stomach.  We set a healthy pace uphill (and it’s all uphill) until we poked out onto the first ledge among a dozen or two dozen other hikers.

Casey overlooks Rattlesnake Lake.

The views were great, and the ledge was frightening enough to stay back from.  After a brief rest, we continued on up the trail, as we all wanted a bit more than the ~4 miles round-trip it would’ve been to the first ledge.  In just a few minutes, we found ourselves on another ledge, overlooking the first.  Here we were all alone, and so sat down and enjoyed the view for a bit longer before continuing.

Looking down on the first Ledge.

Details after this point have faded into: much more solitude, poor signage, rusty steel cable, trail becoming road, and a fair amount of snow that found its way into spherical projectile form.  At some point, sure we weren’t ever going to arrive anywhere else, we turned around and headed back down to the lake, where we skipped stones and/or soaked our feet before heading back to Seattle.

Actually, I enjoyed this hike more than I thought I would.  The company helped, but once past the first ledge, it was quite quiet.  I wouldn’t mind doing it again sometime.  Maybe with Adelaide.  Maybe soon.

Stats: ~7 miles round-trip, probably, ~1400′ of elevation gain/loss, probably.  Probably topped out around 2300′.

Mt Si, 08/19/08

After spending ten days with family in Wisconsin, and eating like one might imagine, I came back to Seattle nearly a-pound-per-day heavier and anxious to put the bratwurst behind me.  I decided that I’d take advantage of my Tuesday off and hike something nearby–solo, since Nicole would be working.  With the weather threatening rain and temperatures in the 60s, I wasn’t hiking for views.  After weighing all the factors, I came to the conclusion that if I were ever to hike Mt. Si, it would be now.

The Mt. Si trail is, from what I’ve read, one of the busiest trails known to man.  It’s only ~30 miles from Seattle on I-90, but at 8 miles round-trip with over 3000’ of elevation gain, it ain’t no cakewalk.  This combination keeps the trail consistently populated, with weekends being exceptionally busy.  Plus, it’s the first big piece of rock one sees as they drive up the Snoqualmie Valley–I can’t help but look at it every time by.

Mt Si from North Bend.

Mt Si from North Bend.

After making each of us a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for our respective (but not respectable) lunches, I left West Seattle at about 10:35 and headed east on I-90.  Take exit 31 to North Bend, and take a right at the downtown stoplight past a place promising Twin Peaks Cherry Pie (North Bend Way).  Shortly after that there’ll be a sign alerting you to the Mount Si Road/432nd SE intersection.  Take a left and follow the road past the Little Si trailhead to the Mount Si trailhead ~2.5 miles down the road.  I pulled into the parking lot about 11:20–about 45 minutes after I’d left West Seattle.  Not bad, but even more exciting was the scene at the parking lot.  I think there were four (4!) other cars parked near the trailhead, with the majority of the vast parking lot completely empty.  Excellent.

Read more of this post