**Please note: I forgot to hit “publish” a while back so this is a little outdated – like from April 9th**
When I moved here 4.5 years ago (holy poop! Has it really been that long?!?!?) I was constantly traveling for work and didn’t really get to venture out much and see how wonderful the area was. In fact, I HATED living here and never thought I would be here this long. I stopped traveling as much when I switched jobs 1.5 years ago and wanted to venture out but didn’t have any friends that were really active (yeah, my old friends were lazy – and it showed quite honestly) so I didn’t hike (or do physical activity) much last summer (plus, I had an injured hip); however, I have made friends (and had some old ones move here) over the last year that are much more active so I have begun to venture out more and explore this amazing city and the surrounding areas, as my neck, hip, knee, and back permit.
My friend (we shall call him “old man friend”) and I bought 3 books, hiking boots, and hiking sticks at the beginning of spring to encourage us to venture out more. We haven’t done any big hike because I am still in the process of recovering from my wreck in 2014 and have medical procedures every other week but I do enjoy taking walks/little hikes and clearing my head at the beginning of the weekend.
April 9th: the sun was shining and the temperature wasn’t too hot so it was the perfect day to head out and climb (walk up) a mountain! We decided to hike Rattlesnake Ledge. We woke up early and to get a jump-start because parking can be difficult and we didn’t want to hike in the heat of the day. As much I didn’t like getting up at 6am on a Saturday, I was extremely thankful I did. We pulled into the parking lot around 8am and had plenty of spots available (thank goodness) which is definitely the not the case if you get there later in the day.
We began the 4 mile roundtrip hike (which is rather popular) and about 30 minutes in, I wish we had gotten our hiking sticks in time because my legs were tired – or maybe I was just hungry. I complained for a few minutes until I had a snack and then I was ready to keep going (apparently, this is a common thing for me). The views were amazing on the way up:
This hike tricked me…we had about 15 minutes left of the hike but I thought the top was just one switch back away. I was a little bummed it was more like four switchbacks – I just wanted to be to the top (I had not learned the patience needed for hiking yet). When I got to the top – it was amazing! I mean, AH-mazing!
There were quite a few people at the top and we had to cross some gaps in the rocks to get towards the edge (which I knew my dad would be telling me to “get away from the edge”). I panicked and was scared I would fall off and get hurt (seriously, like almost cried) but I managed to get across and take in the view (and another snack). While crossing the gaps in rocks, my leg knocked my camera lens cover off and it dropped it – but my “old man friend” was able to retrieve it! We took in all of the sites before heading back down.
As we made our way down, there were TONS of people (and dogs) making their way up! When we got to the bottom, we walked around the water and enjoyed the scenery.
After enjoying the peaceful water area, we made our way back to the car. The parking lot was PACKED and people were parking over a mile away! It makes sense though – the view is amazing, the hike isn’t too long but has some good incline so definitely a good work out. It is rated moderate and I would say that is accurate. A new hiker could definitely make it to the top – just might need to go slow and take a few breaks. I would highly recommend going early and packing a snack to enjoy at the top. In my opinion, this hike has a beautiful journey to the destination at the top so if you have to go slow – you will just get to spend more time in the beautiful trail! I will definitely be doing this hike again…and waking up early. I think this one would be cool too if you could catch the sunrise or sunset at the top…maybe I could switch it up next time.
Have you done Rattlesnake Ledge? What did you think? Until the next hike…xoxo….Julie