The Rattlesnake Trail follows the course of Rattlesnake Creek for 15 miles through the eastern side of the William O Douglas Wilderness. However, decades of neglect since designation of the wilderness in 1984 has left it in fragments that are at best overgrown and in many places no longer exist. The area near the trailhead is popular with backcountry fisherman (catch and release fly fishing only) but further upstream the trail sees very little traffic.
From the trailhead at the end of NF-185, follow a short path through the woods that connects to a well worn 4x4 track. Follow the 4x4 track for two miles to its end at the wilderness boundary. The 4x4 track can also be driven with a high clearance vehicle if so desired. The Rattlesnake trail begins at the wilderness boundary and immediately requires a ford of Rattlesnake Creek to continue that may be difficult in the spring and early summer. Excellent campsites abound near the wilderness boundary.
Head upstream on Rattlesnake Creek. Often the creek is the easiest path forward, meaning you're likely to have wet feet as you hike; wear quick-drying shoes. Old remnants of the trail are readily found and sometimes marked with flagging.
1.5 miles from the wilderness boundary Rattlesnake Creek meets the Hindoo Trail that accesses the eastern flanks of Mount Aix. This makes a good turnaround point for most folks but the hardiest of adventurers may continue upstream for another 10 miles to Indian Creek Meadows in the Tumac Plateau. This area is best enjoyed in mid to late summer when the constant fording of Rattlesnake Creek is pleasant in sandals and a swimsuit.