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DaBaba

Tell Me About Rattlesnake Peak

I have been intrigued with the idea of hiking to Rattlesnake Peak, but I don't know anyone who has been and can't find anyone who is interested enough to go with me. I've eyeballed what I think is part of a trail up there the last couple of times I've been to the Bridge to Nowhere, but I'd like some tips from people who've been.
I might be biting off more than I can chew, I tend to do that, but usually manage to choke it down. I'm fat slow and old, but I usually get where I'm going whether out of sheer cussedness or I'm just too dumb to know any better.
Let me know what I can expect. I understand it will be hard, but how hard? Am I going to die out there?
dima

The easiest route is recently burned and unpleasant. There's no vegetation at all until the top. The other route is burned recently too, so it's probably like that as well, but I haven't seen it. I'd find a better peak.
DaBaba

Recently burned? The fires I recall recently were the Colby Fire and a couple off the 39. Is it bare?
The route I thought I saw from the Bridge to Nowhere trail looked sparse, but not bare.
How recently were you there? Which route did you take?
Do you have a better peak to suggest?
walker

Were you looking at a route going all the way up from the Bridge? That would be extra abusive. I've only hiked it from Shoemaker Road.

I haven't been since the fires, but it used to be a pretty stiff hike, somewhat comparable to Iron Mt. in difficulty. Less vertical gain, but not a maintained trail, a few crumbly scrambles, no water, no shade at all. If the hot weather persists, I'd wait for next fall.

On one occasion I gained the ridge near the first tunnel on Shoemaker Road, followed it to the summit, then descended the east ridge to meet up with the end of Shoemaker Road beyond the second tunnel. This was before the fires and the east ridge was a tremendous thrash over, under, through and in between horrendous and impenetrable thickets growing out of crumbling rocky knobs. From what Dima said, sounds like it might be more of a barren moonscape currently?
dima

I hiked up the ridge from before the first tunnel last year. It burned in the 2012 Williams Fire, so not terribly recent, but recent enough.

I haven't been to the ridge from past the second tunnel, but it burned last year. Looks like this from the ridge up big Iron:
Taco

Bring plenty of water, more than you think you'll need.

If you don't want to go back down the standard south ridge route, you can descend the east ridge. Goes down a bit before you need to pay attention and navigate your way down to the tunnels to nowhere trail, which becomes Shoemaker Cyn Rd once you reach tunnel 2.
DaBaba

Thanks. I appreciate it.
I read about the trail before the tunnels, and I think I saw a trail past the tunnels from the Bridge to Nowhere trail. No way would I want to try from there. I ain't the brightest bulb in the Christmas tree, but I ain't that dim.
I figured the route would be exposed, but was hoping it would be still cool enough that it wouldn't leave my desiccated carcasse in the sun. Maybe it's already too late this season, if last weekend is any indication.
Is the trail visible or will I have a hard time keeping to it? I am not much for bushwhacking. I do better on a trail.
It may be beyond my capabilities, but i like to try stuff that's hard. If it was easy anyone could do it.
oldcoot

Rattlesnake Peak...

I can't tell you anything about what it's like now post-fires, but it took me 1.5 hours longer to get up and back in August 2004 than in February 2003...and a very experienced HPS hiker (200+ summits) died of heat-related issues on the way back down in summer back in the 1970s...not a summer hike...

David R of this list did it last November:

http://sangabrielmnts.myfreeforum...eak_via_East_Ridge_about6084.html

oldcoot
DaBaba

Thanks for linking that oldcoot. I should have searched more diligently. Very useful.
tekewin

I've only done the south ridge route, and before the fire. The use trail is not very well defined at the beginning, but once you get on the south ridge, you just follow it all the way to the top. The south ridge route is 8.8 miles round trip with a gain of 3800'. My guess is the east ridge would be around 10 miles. My trip from 2013:

http://ironhiker.blogspot.com/2013/04/rattlesnake-peak.html
DaBaba

OK. I tried it. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves for leading me to believe that this would be an easy walk in the park.

Trip report to follow.
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