Rattlesnake Mountain Northwest Peak / 響尾蛇山西北峯

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Rattlesnake Mountain Northwest Peak sits inside Raging River State Forest (PDF). Because of the dense forest, it sees fewer people than Rattlesnake Mountain proper. But it makes an excellent post-work jaunt for people seeking solitude.

This way to Rattlesnake Mountain Northwest Peak
This way to Rattlesnake Mountain Northwest Peak

See more trip photos here.

Rattlesnake Mountain Northwest Peak at a Glance

Access: Rattlesnake Mountain Trailhead
Round Trip: 5.1 miles
Elevation Range: 1040′-2240′
Gear: none
Route Info: Scott Rice
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Rattlesnake Mountain Trail

Rattlesnake Mountain is another local hot spot. Like Tiger Mountain, there’s a vast network of biking trails and accessible year-round. The northwest peak doesn’t have designated biking paths. But one would likely see bikers on the old roads.

It’s possible to go up to the top by connecting up the roads. But to save time, at half a mile from the trailhead, we left the trail by the unnamed creek. Then we crossed the water and went up a faint path through the wetland.

Afternoon flow
Afternoon flow

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Upper Roadway

Going this way required a bit of route-finding through the old-growth. But we would, in turn, avoid the busy trail. Later we reached the upper roadway by the powerline. Judging from the tread marks, bikers come through here regularly. Despite the open space, the trees kept us from seeing out into the valley.

The road continued west and then ended by the clearing. This viewpoint was the only place to see anything on this peak. Tiger Mountain on the other side of Highway 18 would be visible on a clear day. From there, we made a left into the forest on a mixed-use trail.

En route to Rattlesnake Mountain Northwest Peak
En route to Rattlesnake Mountain Northwest Peak

See more trip photos here.

Northwest Ridge Route

The trail soon made its way up the northwest ridge. At the fork in the forest, we stayed right and continued upward. Not sure where the other path would lead. Later we went onto another roadway at 2120′ north of the ridgeline.

The road took us east for a bit. Then it turned south toward the top. Along the way was another bike path cutting through the old roadway. Shortly, we dove into the trees and went a short distance east to reach the highest point.

Before Rattlesnake Mountain Northwest Peak
Before Rattlesnake Mountain Northwest Peak

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Rattlesnake Mountain Northwest Peak Summit

We’ve had our fair share of viewless summits this season. So this short, woodsy one didn’t come as a surprise. Though, we enjoyed complete solitude. Not even a single bike showed up while we were up here.

Later we went back on the road. Then we walked around the top a bit, hoping to find a clearing somewhere. But trees were still in the way of any possible view.

Taking a detour
Taking a detour

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Outro

On the way down to the powerline clearing, I decided to take a spur bike path I saw earlier. I wasn’t sure where it would lead. But it later joined our up route at the fork we had passed on the way up the mountain.

Tiger Mountain was still in the clouds. So we left after a few seconds and went down to the unnamed creek through the forest. Then we picked up the trail on the other side and returned to the car.

Finding our way home
Finding our way home

See more trip photos here.

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