Ascent of Rattlesnake Hills Lookout on 2017-06-10

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, June 10, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rattlesnake Hills Lookout
    Elevation:3629 ft / 1106 m

Ascent Trip Report

Would not hike again! At least not at this time of year. Rattlesnakes abound.

The access instructions are pretty good. There is a dirt road off of WA 241 at 46.46279, -119.93474, which takes you up to the lookout. However, the road doesn't see too much use or maintenance. There is a barbed wire gate almost immediately after turning off from the highway, and then there is a metal gate a tenth of a mile further up. The road itself is in decent condition, but at this time of year, it is quite overgrown with grass. With a high clearance truck, you might be able to clear all of the grass otherwise you're just plowing over it. At no point did I ever think I needed low-4, but it could be a different story when wet. I drove all the way up the ridge to just short of the radio tower. (I should have just driven to the radio tower itself and parked there.)

I'd been driving for quite some time and rain earlier in the day thwarted attempts to hike elsewhere, so I figured I'd stretch my legs rather than drive all the way. It's a beautiful area with views down in the Yakima Valley and the intermittent thunderstorms made for picturesque skies. However, about a mile into my hike, I ran into a rattler hanging out in the road. He rattled at me and moved slightly off the road, but wouldn't move further away forcing me to steer clear around him through the grass.

The road from this point on is significantly more overgrown with grass. I had to slow down considerably and spend a lot of effort watching my footsteps. I ended up having a total of 4 rattlesnake encounters, though one of them I believe was the same snake twice. I suspect that the cool temperature (59 F) contributed to this problem by causing the snakes to look for places to sunbathe of which the road is a prime candidate since the entire ridge is covered in knee high grass.

This all goes to say, I would either drive all the way to the summit or hike it on a cold winter day.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:685 ft / 208 m
    Extra Gain:96 ft / 29 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:Access Road
    Trailhead:Ratio Tower  3136 ft / 955 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 8 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 17 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Connor McEntee
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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