Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Two for one: wonder and disappointment ahead

Location: Snoqualmie Corridor

Distance: 9 miles

Elevation gain: 2,000 feet or so

The warm weather seems to be lingering in Washington so I couldn’t help but take advantage – even if it meant rising at 5 a.m. to beat the clock for work. Rattlesnake Ledge appears to be quite a popular hike with people in Seattle, probably because it’s a quick drive to a quick hike with outstanding payoff.

The trail starts at Rattlesnake Lake, which didn’t look too impressive as I rubbed sleep out of my eyes. We warmed up quickly as we climbed the well-maintained path through the forest and onto a monolithic block of rock. Summit came quickly since this hike is only four miles but seeing the fog settle over the lake below and creep through the valley made it my favorite moment of the day.

After descending, I walked a half mile up the road and started down the Iron Horse Trail, which I veered off of shortly after crossing Boxley Creek. My sights were set on Cedar Butte, which guide books had deemed the most underappreciated hike in the region. It was billed as a 3-mile hike with “plenty of scenic spectacle.” I have to disagree. The trail was pretty standard forest and there wasn’t much view at the top, even though there was an official summit marker. Popular Mount Si and Mailbox could barely be seen in the distance between the tree branches. Nonetheless, knocking out nine miles before breakfast is nothing to complain about!

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