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Hiker killed in Rattlesnake fall

A hiker was killed after falling more than 400 feet off Rattlesnake Ledge near North Bend.

Officials say the man fell from the top of the ledge in Iron Horse State Park around 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 30.


View Hiker killed in fall from Rattlesnake Ledge in a larger map

An eyewitness saw the man loose his footing while climbing down a rock face to reach a ledge below, said Cathy Decker of King County Search and Rescue.

The man was in his 20s and is from the area, she said.

His identity has not been released yet.

His female hiking companion was not hurt.

Serious accidents are rare in the area, said Kelly Hinze, a land manager for the state's Department of Natural Resources. She has worked in the North Bend area for 10 years.

"As a hiker you have to be careful," she said.

However, casual hikers don't always realize when they put themselves in a high risk situation.

Rattlesnake Ledge can be very dangerous if not treated seriously, said Martin Volken, owner of Pro Ski and Mountain Services in North Bend.

"You have this very easy trail with a very broad edge on the edge of this enormous cliff," he said.

The ledge is slightly sloping towards the cliff and covered with loose gravel.

"It has all the makings of an incident," he said.

A fence or at least a sign warning of the danger should be put up, according to Volken.

The trail and ledge are owned and managed by Seattle Public Utilities as part of the Cedar River Watershed.

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