Rattlesnake Way Trail #1497
ElevationAscent: 815' 249 m
Descent: -947' -289 m
High: 6,509' 1,984 m
Low: 5,663' 1,726 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 32% (18°)
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“Access to Mosquito Lake and to views from Rattlesnake Mountain.”— Bruce Hope
This area is usually closed by snow between November and May. The first 2.0 miles of this trail from the northern trailhead were impacted by the 2017 Rattlesnake Fire. The part up from Windy Gap was not impacted.
The #1497 was built originally to service the fire lookout that once stood on the summit of Rattlesnake, which offers views of the Fish Creek Valley, Mount Bailey, Mount Thielsen, and Diamond Peak. A 30-foot pole L-4 tower fire lookout was built here in 1933. It had the dubious distinction of being destroyed in the 1962 Columbus Day hurricane.
The #1497 continues past the spur trail to the summit on trail constructed since the days of the fire lookout. It then proceeds down several long switchbacks to end at Windy Gap at a junction with the Whitehorse Meadows Trail #1477 and a tie trail to the Castle Creek Trail #1576.
If you just want to reach the views from Rattlesnake Mountain (and avoid any trail damage from the 2018 Rattlesnake Fire), you can reach the #1497 from the Happy Camp Trailhead on Forest Road 870 in the Fish Creek Valley. From there, follow the Castle Creek Trail #1576 northwest to its junction with the tie trail, then follow the tie trail northeast to Windy Gap.
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Land Manager: USFS - Umpqua National Forest Office