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Rattlesnake Lake - Everything You Need to Know

Rattlesnake Lake in King County, Washington, is a gorgeous bright blue lake in the Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area. It is 30 miles from Seattle and very popular!

The lake's incredible setting is well-loved with day trippers from the Seattle area and all around the Pacific Northwest. The lake is part of the larger Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area.

Location of Rattlesnake Lake

The lake is about 40 minutes from Seattle, near Interstate 90 and exit 32. It's 3 miles southeast of the town of North Bend. Here are some common big cities and how long it would take to get to Rattlesnake Lake:

  • From Portland: 3 hours and 10 mins

  • From Everett: 1 hour 15 mins

  • From Olympia: 1 hour 20 mins

Rattlesnake Lake from Rattlesnake Ledges
Rattlesnake Lake from Rattlesnake Ledges

Directions to Rattlesnake Lake

Use the map below to navigate to the parking lot at Rattlesnake Lake:

What You Need to Know Before Visiting Rattlesnake Lake

Here is what you need to know before visiting Rattlesnake Lake:

  • The lake is open from dawn to dusk all year.

  • There is no permit required to visit Rattlesnake Lake.

  • No camping is allowed at Rattlesnake Lake.

  • No open fires are allowed at Rattlesnake Lake.

  • No motor boats are allowed at Rattlesnake Lake.

  • Swimming is allowed, but no lifeguards are on duty.

Rattlesnake Lake Hike

There are a few popular hiking trails near Rattlesnake Lake:

Rattlesnake Lake Hike

Rattlesnake Lake is best-known for the Rattlesnake Ledges hike that ascends the rocky slopes to its north. But, there is another fantastic trail that is beautifully well-maintained and starts from the Cedar River Watershed Education Center (you can also get water here!).

A stump in Rattlesnake Lake
A stump revealing itself in Rattlesnake Lake when the water is low

From the lake, you'll head along the lake's shores, towards the northeast and the main parking area. It's an out-and-back trail, meaning that at the end of the hike, you'll need to turn around and come back the way you came.

It is 1.4 miles long and barely gains any elevation, less than 50 feet. It's family-friendly and well-suited to dogs as well. Most hikers only take around 30 minutes to complete the entire hike.

Rattlesnake Ledges Hike at Rattlesnake Lake

At Rattlesnake Lake, visitors will find several possible hiking trails, the most popular of which ascend the mountain slopes to the three (upper, middle, and lower) Rattlesnake Ledges.

Looking down at Rattlesnake Lake
Looking down at Rattlesnake Lake from Rattlesnake Ledges

Rattlesnake Ledges is considered to be one of the best hikes near Seattle and is certainly one of the most popular hikes in the Seattle area (rivaling only the hike up Mt. Si).

Read Traverse the Pacific Northwest's Ultimate Guide to Rattlesnake Ledges Hike.

Interesting Facts about Rattlesnake Lake

Here are a few interesting facts about Rattlesnake Lake

  • Average Rattlesnake Lake depth: 20 feet

  • Surface elevation of Rattlesnake Lake: 911 feet

  • Rattlesnake Lake size: 111 acres

  • When the water is low enough, numerous tree stumps are visible above the waterline.

  • The lake is spring fed by the Cedar River.

Rattlesnake Lake Camping

Here are a few of the best campsites near Rattlesnake Lake:


Can you fish at Rattlesnake Lake?

Yes, you can fish at Rattlesnake Lake! Normal fishing rules for Washington state apply. Boats are also allowed on the water, but only non-motorized ones.

Can you swim in Rattlesnake Lake?

Yes, you can swim in Rattlesnake Lake. It is popular throughout the summer months and even in the late spring and early fall. But, keep in mind that there is no lifeguard on duty.

Are there rattlesnakes at Rattlesnake Lake?

There are no rattlesnakes at Rattlesnake Lake! Don't worry, you're not going to spend your whole visit worrying that there's a snake around the corner. It's believed that the entire area takes its name from the vast grassy plains that, when blown in the wind, sound like a rattlesnake's tail.

Do I need a Discover Pass for Rattlesnake Lake?

No, you don't need a Discover Pass to park at Rattlesnake Lake because it isn't a state park. There is no fee or permit required to park there.

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