Rattlesnake Mountain is a long ridge overlooking the South Fork Snoqualmie River Valley, Interstate 90, North Bend, and the Cascade Mountains on the east and the Issaquah Alps and Puget Sound basin on the west. Although the hillsides have been stripped of their forests and the ridge crest dotted with telephone and radio relay towers, the riding is outstanding. The loop climbs over the summit ridge of Rattlesnake Mountain then descends along the Raging River drainage. The ride is almost entirely on logging roads, some in excellent condition, some steep and rough. The road is gated at the base so the entire ride may be vehicle-free when loggers aren't working the area.
After parking cross the gate on the paved road, this will lead to an electrical station, keep on the left (uphill) and pass a second gate, road changes to dirt/gravel, after that there will be a river crossing in which the road has collapsed, follow the path down, through the river and up again at road level. Keep riding on the main road (you will see 2-3 left uphill bifurcations, ignore those). You will reach a bifurcation on the main road; continue on the main flat(left) as the right goes down and seems to go to another trail head for vehicles. After that it's incremental incline until you reach a flat section with a big open terrain on your left, continue to ride until the next bifurcation, take the left road which is a steep uphill change and somewhat of a rocky section. Continue on that road, all the way to the top, until you find some tall antennas. Keep straight pass the 1st antenna (or your right) and you will see the road continue with a slight right turn after the second antenna. This is all downhill, with 2-3 minor/slight climbs. Keep on the main road while going downhill as there are some other minor roads that incorporate. Eventually you will reach a gate there, cross it, take right and now you are returning on the initial road, continue on the main road (cross the river, gates, etc) until you reach the parking lot.
Drive Interstate 90 east from Issaquah for 8 miles to Exit 25. Turn south on Highway 18 for about a quarter of a mile, then take the first left on SE 104th Street. Go straight for 200 feet then park in the large open area at the right-hand side of the road
This is a reasonably long and steady climb on dirt roads, definitely longer than nearby Tiger mountain, with some stretches quite steep and rocky. There is a river crossing that is not rideable and barely crossable without getting your feet wet. Easy to find the antennas at the top. Downhill section was in pretty bad shape for a significant portion due to some ditch digging along the trail. In its current condition I would suggest coming down the same way you climbed. I came across a black bear who happened to be chilling out in the middle of the trail. I guess not so many people come to this area. Good just for the climb, if you want downhill singletrack this is not your route!
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