Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area is a day-use area located outside the hydrologic limits of the municipal Cedar River watershed near North Bend. The lake is located near Interstate 90, exit 32, about 3 miles southeast of North Bend and about 35 miles east of Seattle. The recreation area includes the 111-acre lake, picnic areas, the Rattlesnake Ledge trail, and parking access to miles of state park and King County hiking, biking, and horse trails. . The recreation area is owned and operated by Seattle Public Utilities as a non-designated buffer for the development of municipal watershed conservation lands. The watershed provides 65% of the Seattle area’s unfiltered drinking water to nearly 800,000 people. Rattlesnake Lake is not used for drinking water and is fed by the nearby Cedar River.
Rules and Regulations:
- Open from dawn to dusk, all year round. Parking is free.
- NO camping or open fires. (The gas barbecue is acceptable if used on a non-flammable surface.)
- Private or exclusive events (gatherings, celebrations, weddings, etc.) of 30 or more people are prohibited.
- Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as quadcopters, drones and model airplanes, are prohibited.
- Portable toilets and picnic areas by the lake. NO drinking water.
- Water is available at the Cedar River Watershed Education Center.
- Boat Launch: Self-propelled and electric boat motors only.
- Swimming: NO lifeguards, swim at your own risk.
- Fishing: Year-round, Washington State selective gear rules apply.
- Hunting and gathering are prohibited.
- Absolutely NO fireworks.
- NO wildlife food.
- NO commercial activity.
Please make the “Leave No Trace” pledge:
- Pledge to keep Washington’s trails beautiful! Rattlesnake Ledge Trail belongs to all of us.
- Respect wildlife. Observe them from a safe distance and commit to not feeding them and keeping your pets on a leash.
- Dispose of waste (humans, dogs and trash) properly. Commit to packing it and packing it.
- Preserve the wild experience. Commit to helping create a great trail culture that respects other trail users, yields the trail, and lets the sounds of nature prevail.
Rattlesnake Lake Trail
This lake trail is located on the southeast side of the lake and is a mix of barrier-free paved and groomed loop trails that access the lake, parking lot, and the Cedar River Watershed Education Center.
Rattlesnake Ledge Trail and Rattlesnake Mountain Trail
Beginning at Rattlesnake Lake, the first 2 mile section to the Rattlesnake Ledge trailhead is one of the most popular hiking trails in the area. Expect to encounter many hikers and dogs on the trail, and exercise extreme caution around exposed cliffs and steep inclines. Rattlesnake Mountain Trail is cooperatively maintained by Seattle Utilities, King County, and the Washington Department of Natural Resources with assistance from Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust trail crews and volunteers. The Rattlesnake Mountain Trail continues west, gaining elevation, another 9 miles to Snoqualmie Point Park. Rattlesnake Mountain is also known as Rattlesnake Ridge on many maps.
- Terms: Expect wintry conditions well into April. Be prepared and always carry the 10 essentials. Be aware that weekend trail use is heavy year round and parking is limited at Rattlesnake Lake.
- Length: 2 miles to Ledge and 11 miles through Rattlesnake Mountain to Snoqualmie Point Park
- Difficulty: moderate to difficult
- Users: on foot only, no fires, no camping
- Rattlesnake’s Ledge Map (pdf)
- Map of Rattlesnake Lake trails and ledges (pdf)
Additional area trails
Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail
The Cedar Falls trailhead at Rattlesnake Lake is the western portal to the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. After about 29 km you reach the 3 km long Snoqualmie Pass Tunnel. Bring flashlights and bike lights if you plan to travel through the tunnel. The tunnel trail section continues east to Hyak, then ends 80 miles at the Columbia River. A Washington State Discovery Pass is required at the Cedar Falls trailhead. Check with Washington State Parks for current conditions.
- Terms: Expect wintry conditions well into April and note that the tunnel is closed from November 1 to May 1.
- Length: 18 miles to Snoqualmie Pass Tunnel, 100 miles to Columbia River
- Difficulty: easy to moderate
- Users: foot, bicycle, horse
- Map of Iron Horse State Park (pdf)
Snoqualmie Valley Trail
This scenic King County Regional Trail and Old Railroad traverses north of Rattlesnake Lake through the towns of North Bend, Snoqualmie, Carnation and Duvall. For current conditions, contact King County Parks.
Cedar River Watershed Education Center
The Cedar River Watershed Education Center located on the south shore of Rattlesnake Lake offers visitors a chance to learn about the watershed through exhibits, information, watershed tours, excursions and special events focused on drinking water. , history, wildlife and more. Ask the Center about venue rentals, special event requests and permits for sporting events, races, community gatherings of 30 or more people and film productions.
Contact the Center for information on trail conditions, watershed tours and recreation area. Special events: