Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned hiker, Rattlesnake Ledge is my go-to suggestion for an introduction to hiking in Washington. In fact, Rattlesnake was the very first hike I did in the Greater Seattle Area, and it set the stage for a lifetime of trail wanderlust. Rattlesnake is located in North Bend off I-90, an easy drive east of Seattle. The main reason this hike is so popular is that the view is a spectacular payoff for short and non-strenuous. The entire trek comes in at 4 miles round-trip and an elevation cap of around 2000 feet. It has such a clearly marked trail that it’s impossible to get lost if you follow the path, and it continues to be well-maintained. Another reason for Rattlesnake’s popularity is that it is one of the trails that does not require a parking pass to visit, which is huge in this state. I do recommend getting to the parking lot early in order to beat the crowds–this hike can be especially crowded on clear, sunny days–and make sure that you go to “Rattlesnake Ledge” rather than “Rattlesnake Mountain” or “Rattlesnake Ridge.” If you end up at the Snolqualmie lot on the other side of the mountain, it will be a 21-mile round-trip trek to the view shown here. Rattlesnake is one of my favorites in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m looking forward to visiting the top with all sorts of people in the coming years.