I haven’t hiked since 2009 at hippie school. All I can remember now is that it was some weird solo hike to learn more about ourselves. It was probably one of our final projects for the school because it was hippie school and Seattle, so you can do whatever you want basically. I remember that there was a journaling component and me as the sassy/super edgy/way cool 12 year old I wrote in my reflection that hiking was super lame.
So, my best friend and I decided to go on some hikes this summer (unlike adorable edgy skater age 12 me, I can appreciate going for a hike now a bit more as an adult than I did as a kid). For our first hike, we decided to venture to RATTLESNAKE LEDGE TRAIL, I put this in all caps to emphasis how much of a big dealTM going on this hike was. I think all of the cool kids at my high school did this hike a bunch of times and all their super aesthetic/pre-instagram popularity but insta worthy pictures.
We ventured to Rattlesnake Ledge on a sunny, Sunday afternoon listening to a bunch of songs from her playlist that I had never heard. With the nice weather, good vibes, and surprisingly good traffic, the drive honestly didn’t feel like it took that long and before we knew it we were in North Bend, the home of Rattlesnake Ledge. Just the drive there made me hyped for the hike because despite my complaints about the PNW, Seattle. Is. Beautiful. You can drive like 10 minutes out of the city and the mountains with their snowy peaks are visible, you can see wildflowers in all sorts of vibrant colors, and trees everywhere. When you get closer to the trail, it intensifies. The metropolitan landscape has transformed into an idyllic small town. It seems like the kind of place where everything would seem perfect, but something sinister would be lurking under the surface, like a giant bear or a group of racists.
As we approached Rattlesnake Ledge, we learned the real sinister truth…there’s no phone service at the bottom of the dang hike. How were we, two early 20s adults supposed to call our moms without phone service?! It was only as we got closer to the end of the hike that phone services was bestowed up on.
Despite the misfortune that had fallen upon us, the texts that didn’t get sent, and the notifications that we could only make emergency calls, we began our hike. At the start it was deceptively easy, it’s flat and covered in stumps and rocks galore. Once the hike starts going though, it’s not easy. While it’s only 2 miles until you get to the lookout, the 95% of that hike is uphill. Not like a chill uphill, but like a “Dear me I’m a bit winded oh god I’m sweating a lot oH REALLY ANOTHER HILL MOUNTAIN THAT’S JUST GREAT THANKS” kind of uphill. Compounded with that it’s also hot because fun fact: Washington has temperate (so like not tropical) rainforests, so it gets kind of muggy.
After an hour of walking and gaining 1,160 feet of elevation (me complaining, stopping, and taking breaks; singing the theme song to Dog the Bounty Hunter), we reached the top!
I could try to describe the view, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll leave it to Mother Nature.
The descent unlike the ascent was pretty dang easy. Besides the fact that I almost twisted my ankle like 3 times, it was no big deal. Since we were descending later in the afternoon, there were a lot less people to contend with on the trail. Thank goodness all the people who run up/down hiking trails, the barrage of cute puppers, and smol children were a much less of a presence of the trail so we could *zooom* down.
And after the hike like the healthy people we are, we indulged in some delicious fries from McDonalds on the drive home.