Monthly Archives: November 2012

Hiking Trails – Rattlesnake Ledge, North Bend, Washington

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Well once again I managed to squeeze all the advantage I could out of a four day trip to Seattle by making a second early AM excursion to visit a local trail and peak/overlook before the season got too snowy and the Parks service started shutting gates and trails down.

This trail by recommended to me by it’s huge number of ratings on Alltrails.com, and also by a friend who is formerly of the Seattle area. It was known for its great overlook ledge at the summit, looking out over Rattlesnake Lake.

I arrived around 8am and was surprised that despite the drizzling rain, fifty degree temperatures and thirty mile per hour wind… there were at least two other cars parked at the Trailhead!

The reviews didn’t lie when it said this was a well frequented trail. It has lovely, well maintained parking and public access to chem-pot Commodes.

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The trail itself is a standard out-and-back view. You gain about 1100ft of altitude from the parking lot to the ledge, all in around 2 miles of uphill. It is paced fairly well with switchbacks, but I’d say you’d be drenched by the end of the ascent in the summer. As it was, I was heated up enough that my softshell letting the wind in at the top gave me a chill, and I was glad to have packed my Patagonia Nanopuff just in case.

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The return hike is quick, probably 40 minutes compared to 80 minutes for the ascent. Nice views, even in the rain. Even with a pack of tourists nipping at my heels I was able to achieve a sense of solitude for the climb and only really met folks on the way back down. I recommend going early and packing lots of water.

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As ever, all shots are iPhone 4S!

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November 30, 2012 · 7:28 pm

Hiking Trails – Tiger Mountain National Forest, Washington

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Took a hike up into the old logging area of saddle mountains in Tiger Mountain National Forest, just to the north of Isaquah Washington.

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I’m going to make an assumption as to the name. The forest looks as though it was at one time mixed Redwood and Douglas Fir with the Redwoods logged out many years ago and the Fir now overrunning the forest. The colours of the two trees would lend to the ‘Tiger’ striping of the woods and the name. If it’s named after something else, I’m not sure what as I haven’t seen a single great cat during my time there.

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I clocked a nice leisurely 5.2mile hike through the foothills. Technically this trail isn’t open this late in the season but it was a nice dry morning clear of snow and I thought ‘what the hell’. The Upper parking requires a Discovery pass, so I suggest coming prepared if you ever make it out this way in season (April until October). Parking is still available on the Highway, with a 1k walk up to the main site off season.

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Nice hike, low impact and with a nice selection of trails for all levels. There is a Rails to Trails system in this forest which is nice and wide for bikes and horses. Recommended for something 30 minutes outside Seattle but with a nice sense of solitude.

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All photos iPhone 4S!

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November 28, 2012 · 8:31 pm