How Low Can It Go? Photo Comparison from the Top Highlights How Much Rattlesnake Lake Has Shrunk

It’s common knowledge that Rattlesnake Lake is close to record low levels thanks to below average rainfall this year – especially over the past six month.

Local TV news stations have done pieces about the small, lost town of Moncton, which existed on the northern edge of the lake from 1906 – 1915, but was slowly flooded out of existence by seepage from the damming of the Cedar River, which is a water supply for Seattle.

The seepage caused the levels of Rattlesnake Lake to rise, and by 1915 the town was condemned. Only when water levels get super low are any remnants of the lost town visible – like home foundations and old fireplaces.

This year many residents and visitors have made the hike up to this northern edge of the lake to visit a piece of history that might not be visible again for many years – that is, if it ever starts raining.

According to the Cedar River Watershed Education Center, the last time Rattlesnake Lake was this low as January of 2003. They say they appreciate people walking around and enjoying the history of Moncton, but ask that artifacts be left in place so they can preserve the past for everyone.

View from the Top Hits Home

But perhaps the beauty of Rattlesnake Lake is most visible from high atop Rattlesnake Ridge. And that’s where local photography enthusiast Manju Shekhar headed to document, with a photo comparison, just how much Rattlesnake Lake has receded.

The top photo shows Rattlesnake Lake at sunset on October 15, 2015. Manju described the lake as looking like a tiny pod – or large puddle – from the top, compared to what it typically looks like in October. The bottom photo was taken in early October 2014.

Manju said despite some recent rains, seeing Rattlesnake Lake in its current state from atop the Ridge is an indication of the drought that keeps a grip on our state.

Now we just wait… for the rain to start and the lake to fill. Either way – it’s still beautiful.



Rattlesnake 2014 - 2015

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  • Dear Danna,
    Nice, informative article, thank you. My wife and I just moved into North Bend this year, and we love the lake. We wondered where all the water went? Now I know, its just evaporation. We hiked to the ledge on Wednesday and the view is amazing. Yesterday we walked all the way around the lake, whcih you couldnt do easily in June.
    Thank you.

  • Living Snoqualmie