Ascent of Rattlesnake Hills Lookout on 2020-04-18

Climber: Michael Quint

Date:Saturday, April 18, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rattlesnake Hills Lookout
    Elevation:3629 ft / 1106 m

Ascent Trip Report

I've been eyeing this one since I climbed Sacajawea a couple years ago. With most of the state parks closed and getting sick of being cooped up at home, I decided it was time practice social distancing on a rather obscure high point in Central Wasington.

I put in the coordinates for Rattlesnake Hills Overlook in Google Maps and drove the 3.5 hours from Battle Ground. It was overcast with light rain until I hit the Dalles, then the weather started to clear up. Easy drive with no navigation problems - was stopped by the gate on 217 but this was expected. Lots of parking available by the gate.

After passing through two gates, I followed the utility road up a moderate ascent to the first radio tower (about 2 miles in). After the first radio tower, the path evens out and is relatively flat for the next 3 miles to the next radio tower - the location of the high point. The only views to speak of were in the immediate vicinity of the hills and to the east. Would have been nice to see Adams or Rainier. After finding the benchmark and taking some pictures, I made the 5 mile trek back to the car.

I encountered a group of quad riders, a 4-wheeler enjoying some play time, and a group mule deer but otherwise the hike was peaceful. I didn't see any Rattlesnakes.

What I'd do different:
This is the first major hike I've done since Gannett Peak last summer and as with a lot of my early season hikes the mileage took its toll. Suffice to say, I slept good.

The GPS routes that start at the 217 are still good.
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