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Been there on Saturday 08/04/2018. One of the best hikes. Though it is little long hike for me, I enjoyed it fully because of few view points on the way. Trail is wide and good. The lake at the end is nice and easily accessible for swimming. Small parking area. I would go there again.

We loved this hike! The Ira Spring trail is fairly steep and provides a good work out, with some interesting exposed sections periodically up switchbacks and then amidst boulder fields toward the summit. Views are incredible on a cloudy day. We went up and over to the Mason Lake trail on the other side of the peak and enjoyed a nice break at the lake, enjoying the serene water and quiet before making our way up and back down the front side.

Gobblers Knob - Facts.
Get there early, the line to get into the park can take hours, I would assume at around 10:30 - 11ish and you're waiting like everyone else. We parked the car at the beginning of the trail at 7:30AM, plenty of parking spaces.

The hike is not that difficult , switch backs for about 4.1 miles to Lake George trail entrance. Be aware, you can miss it. If you make it to the Marine Memorial you gone to far. Turn around and look for the log mountain bike rack, there's a small entrance where the trail to Lake George starts.

It's somewhat steep some places, but not that difficult. Once at the lake, it's another 1.5 miles to Gobblers Knob, and it's steep.

If you can muster 15 min miles up it's not a bad hike at all. The return is all downhill. Something we welcomed since it was our first hike, and we turned the 11 mile round trip into a 15 mile adventure.

Did encounter too much wild life, outside of birds, squirrels, small snake. All-in-all was a great hike with great views.

get an early start on the trail...afternoon will make it harder to complete the hike.

Excellent day yesterday! The hike and lake were pristine. Nothing difficult or extreme in terms of hiking grade - just nice and relaxing. Bring the bug spray, though.

So crowded!! Went on Sunday July 14, arrived at 9am and the parking lot was overflowing. Good workout, spectacular views of Rainier and the dusting of Indian Paint Brushes was nice. Couldn’t stay long at Mason Lake due to aggressive bugs. Would’ve rated this higher for just the hike alone but I think the experience of bugs and overpopulation left us wanting...

Too many bugs at the moment but worth the hard hike. We covered a bit of Bandera to get some beautiful vistas of the Mount Rainier at a distance and then looped back to complete the Mason lake trail. Lots of swimmers enjoying what turned out to be an wonderful sunny day. We saw few campers at the edge of the lake too.

hiking
25 days ago

Great views as your trek up the trail. Has steep climb and rocky patches. Glad we brought bug repellents.

hiking
25 days ago

Great workout to get to the top, but the lake view was amazing!

Challenging and very rewarding hike with breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier.

Great day on a beautiful trail. Got an early start , only 1 other hiker/photographer at the lookout . Clouds came and went the whole time we were at the top. Flowers just starting and NO bugs. By the time we were back at car all clouds were gone and it was very clear !! Still a perfect day in the PNW ❤️...(no snow ... no water)

A nice mix of sun and shade with lots of wildflowers and ridgeline views. Don't be fooled by the easy start... the incline gets much steeper once you turn the corner! The constant incline is met by gorgeous views along the way and at the lake. Don't forget bug spray!

First time ever doing this trail and I loved it. Did it today July 18th. Started at 6am and got back around 1. Went to the lake which was amazing. Got some good photos as the fog was going away. Then turned around and took the Bandera Mountain trail. Don’t know if I made it completely to the top but I had to climb three or four rock bolder areas. That was a little hard but worth it. I even took my dog even though some reviews on here and the Washington trail site said not to because of the rocky areas. But my dog had no issues except with some big rocks but I just helped her out. If you do this trail, try doing both and go early.

Great hike! Few bugs. Moderate incline and lots of shade. Great views of Mt Rainier. Nice lake to play in. I’d give it 4.5 stars. Snow Lake is actually prettier. Toilets at the trailhead :)

I went here this morning @7:30am and took about 5 hours to get done hiking lol I'm out of shape that's why it took a long time, but it was worth it to be done! I saw very beautiful views and nature!! Highly recommended to see mason lake! btw please go early in the morning so you don't park the alley in the road. And you will need a northwest pass for sure. :)

Be ready to climb through the two fallen trees. Also don’t forget your bug repellent.

Other than the annoying fact that you have to hike almost four miles of gravel road until you get to the actual trail head that you could have easily drove up, this was an amazing hike and the view of Rainier from the lookout (especially at sunset) is second to none. So close. Don’t sleep on it.

Amazing view! Steep inclines at parts on the way up, but so rewarding with the view

Brought my pup and two friends here on fourth of July. we left Seattle around 6:30 and arrived to full parking lot- still found a spot though and had a great great hike. we did the loop back which is very steep and only relatively maintained..but AWESOME with hardly any people. download the map and use your GPS to find your way it's pretty obvious. the one kinda tricky part was at the boulder field- stick to the right of it heading towards the creek. By the time we got back down there were cars for a mile down the road and the main trail seemed packed.

I am not in the best shape and this trail definitely was hard for me. It took me 2.5 hours to get up and approx the same to get down. The trail is up hill all the time. The first 1.5 mile is less steep and then the rest of the trail is steeper mostly. Only the last 0.4 or so mile is downhill to the lake. Based on my tracker the trail to the lake Mason is about 7 miles round trip, there and back. Discovery Pass is NOT valid on this trail. I got a ticket! You can buy a pass online for $5 in advance and display a print out.

It’s very crowded. We arrived at 9:30am and took the last spot at the parking lot - just lucky. Lots of cars were parked on the side of the road already, which is very narrow. The only way to turn around with all the cars parked on the side is to drive all the way to the parking lot. The last 3.2 miles of the road is not paved, watch out for pot wholes. But you don’t need a 4x4. My one wheel drive hunchback made it OK-ish.

The trail is in great condition and there are some nice view points of Mt Rainier. There was one or two spots only where we had to go through boulders, the rest of the trail is just dirt path. It’s OK for dogs and there were plenty of them.

Use the restroom at the trail head, it’s not an easy trail to find a private spot lol.

The lake was beautiful, makes a good compensation for the work out. BUT it was very crowded and some people don’t understand that you didn’t just climbed 3.5 miles to the lake to hear them sing and play the guitar or have a loud conversation with family members who sit 10 fit away.

There was a couple of people swimming in the lake, the water was pretty chilly though. Lots of bugs, especially in the shade, take your repellent.

Enjoy the great outdoors!!! Cheers!

OVERVIEW
My 12 year old daughter and I biked the West Side Road to the trailhead, parked our bikes in the cool NPS log rack and then hiked to Gobblers Knob. Awesome views, good trail and a father/daughter memory which we won't soon forget.

BIKING
For anyone else thinking about doing this trail, I would definitely recommend biking the West Side Road as it lets you bypass less scenic portions of the trail and cruising back downhill after the hike was a great way to end the day. It is a fairly steady climb on the road though, I commute by bike so wasn't having any issues, but my 12 year old had to walk her bike a good portion of the way. Still worth it considering not having to hike back down! There is a bike rack made of a log that also has metal pipe around it allowing you to lock up your bikes right at the trailhead. Both of us had bikes with front suspension, but I think a bike without suspension could have handled the road surface just fine.

BUGS
Whenever we stopped, there were mosquitoes present, but the deet must have been doing its job as I only got one bite. Compared to the amount of bugs I saw, I was pretty surprised that they didn't actually get to us that much.

FLOWERS
There were avalanche lilies blooming all along the trail and I saw one patch of bear grass that was starting to bloom. Gave us something to focus on when the trail was mostly in the trees.

TRAIL
Trail is in great shape other than a couple small snow patches that are easily crossed. Navigation is easy and junctions are clearly marked. We hiked up to Lake George and had lunch overlooking the lake before heading up to the fire lookout. This was the first hike with major elevation gain I have done with my 12 year old so there were frequent stops. It was probably more than she was ready to tackle, but slow & steady won the race and she was really proud of herself when we reached the top. Spent some time at the lookout which you can see into and walked around the decking for awesome views. I have done the Wonderland and this spot would have to rank right up there with some of the best views of the mountain I have seen. Hike back down was quick and easy, then just let gravity propel the bikes back to our car.

PARKING
We arrived around 9:30 AM on a Sunday and all the spots near where the road is closed were taken, but we found a pullout on the side of the road just a few hundred feet away from the parking lot. Note that the road up is dirt and your car will be covered in dust by the time you return.

Strava links:
- Bike up: https://www.strava.com/activities/1690237549
- Hike: https://www.strava.com/activities/1690237712
- Bike down: https://www.strava.com/activities/1690237452

Mildly busy on a Sunday afternoon, good views and a great workout

Great family hike with the dog! Road to get to trail head is worse at the bottom and much better at the top. Trail head was easy to find, we only saw a few other people all day. Lots of climbing at the beginning and end of the trail, rolling terrain in between. Trail in good shape and easy to follow. Top is a rocky bluff with steep cliffs on both sides, but the views are amazing! The description of 4.1 miles seemed accurate to us. Some bugs but not too bad.

Just gorgeous. (Also, I’d rate this one as “moderate” rather than “hard.”)

The road was snow-free, but very bumpy. Someone in a Toyota Corolla made it to the trail head, however, so with mindful driving it is possible. The trail was overgrown with huckleberries at the start. As the trail info shows, the first mils is a steady climb. We were there just after a rainstorm, so the tree roots on this part of the trail were very slick and there were a few places where you could see someone before had slipped for a step. Be wary of that and it should not be a problem. Snow was gone - almost. There was a section about ten feet with snow. It was navigable with just boots, but I was wishing I had poles for stability. Even though there were clouds, the view was great. Wild flowers were in bloom and provided a great incentive to continue. We saw birds and signs of elk, oh, and a frog, but no other wildlife. I plan to do this hike again and explore some of the other hikes in the area.

Went there 6/26 and arrived around 10 AM and the parking lot was pretty full. The trail itself wasn't very packed, but be warned it does get steep pretty fast. I'm pretty sure it took about 2 hours to get to the lake. From the lake our group decided to go to Mt. Defiance from Mason, I would highly recommend even if it's steep, it's only about an hour and a half to two hours hike from Mason. In total with breaks we did it all in about 7 hours.

Beautiful hike! Caught the trail on a misty and foggy day, so Mason Lake was pretty much covered. But it was still beautiful and a really nice spot to sit down and have lunch. Trail is well kept, although I wouldn’t rate it as hard. A butt kicker in some spots but more moderate overall. Only drawback is that it’s a heavily populated trail. There were lots of large groups so it was tough to hike at the pace I wanted.

Absolutely love this hike. No idea why it’s rated as hard though. Unless you are doing the adjoining hike to Bander mountain as well, this is a very moderate hike. I did both - climbed Bandera and then hiked down to the lake on a Wednesday afternoon and it was absolutely gorgeous. I didn’t have a single soul to share the views with in Bandera and even by the lake there was hardly anyone else. Do this on a weekday and your experience will be richer.

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