Hike to Rattlesnake Ledge
Saturday September 16th 2006
This trail is not listed in the Beyond Mount Si hiking book we have been using. We went on this hike with our friends Bill and Shannon. This is a popular hike, but since the day was overcast and gloomy, we had no trouble finding a parking spot. We did not see too many people on the trail either. It is unclear to me if the trail is 1.5 miles or 2.0 miles from base to top - the signs contradict each other. Most of the sites I have read on line for Rattlesnake Ledge say this is a 4 mile round trip hike, with 1200 feet of elevation gain. This trail is in the Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area. Apparently the name is not from snakes, but from trees with cones that "rattle" when the wind shakes them. I did not hear anything like that, but then, I wasn't listening.
We had no trouble with the trail. It was a damp, foggy day, which made the forest seem especially primeval. Moisture makes the plants seem greener. The trail is well maintained, and not too steep. There are some switchbacks, but I guess this trail has a moderate rating. It won't take you too long to get to the top.
At the top are wide open views. It wasn't windy, and most of the clouds had burned off, so we had some nice visibility. You can see in my photos Rattlesnake Lake, down near the parking lot. According to the write ups, the town of Moncton once stood where the lake stands today. A dam was built in 1915 that raised the lake level and flooded the townsite (why?). Some old tree stumps are visible at the end of the lake (the water level was quite low, maybe because it was the end of a long dry summer), but no sign of old townsite.
Apparently there are further viewpoints if you are willing to keep hiking. The trail signs point to an East Tower view, and a Grand Prospect viewpoint. This is a nice park, so I assume we will be back and maybe we shall attempt one of the more distant destinations.
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