Cedar Butte near North Bend
Hike description: There are a number of hikes near North Bend offering good views of the Snoqualmie Valley, and most are quite busy. Rattlesnake Ledge and Mount Si are two of the most popular trails in the state.
A short hike starting from the same parking lot used for Rattlesnake offers a less congested outing with a good view. The top of Cedar Butte is at 1,880 feet, so hikers are less likely to encounter significant snow than they are on other peaks in the area. (There has been snow on the route since early December).
Cedar Butte is a 3.6-mile roundtrip hike that starts on the wide, gradual grade of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, before making the uphill push to the small, wooded summit.
The John Wayne Pioneer Trail runs from Rattlesnake Lake to the Columbia River, but you’ll only have to walk 0.8 of those 100 miles. Once you cross the bridge over Boxley Creek, look for a sign on the right pointing the way to Cedar Butte. The sign was in place when we visited in early fall, but it is sometimes missing, according to at least one guidebook.
From here, the trail climbs about 900 feet. You won’t get high enough to rise above the trees, but an opening gives hikers a view of North Bend. Weather permitting, you may also see taller peaks such as Mailbox and Mount Si.
Return the way you came. The trail is unofficial but is tended to by volunteers and is usually in good shape.
The Iron Horse Trail is a good option for extending your hike. Nearby Twin Falls can also be accessed from the Iron Horse Trail. Back at the trailhead, Rattlesnake Ledge is another option for a scenic extension to this hike when weather permits. Rattlesnake is typically best hiked March-November, but it can be accessible year-round some years. The Snoqualmie Valley Trail leads to North Bend
Check current weather and trail conditions before attempting any hike in this area.
Directions: From Interstate 90 near North Bend, take Exit 32 and follow 436th Avenue Southeast south for about 4 miles to the parking lot. The trailhead is located across the street from the lake at Iron Horse State Park.
Difficulty rating: 2 (5 is most difficult, 1 is easiest)
Miles round trip: 3.5
Elevation gain: 900 feet
Best time of the year: Year round.
Map: Green Trails 205S: Rattlesnake Mountain and Upper Snoqualmie Valley.
Pass: A Discover Pass is required to park at the Iron Horse State Park.
Also: A 1937 survey disc atop the butte calls it “Ceder Butt.” A fork in the trail offers a 0.6-mile branch that will reunite with the main trail. Using this route each way makes this a 4.2-mile hike. Dogs are permitted if they are on leashes and cleaned up after. There are several geocaches hidden in the area, according to geocaching.com. A restroom is located at the trailhead.