Mason Lake via Ira Spring Memorial Trail

HARD 287 reviews

Mason Lake via Ira Spring Memorial Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near North Bend, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2293 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

Late summer days in the Seattle area often begin with a thick layer of gloomy clouds. So you can head east through the I-90 corridor, into the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, to climb above the clouds. Bandera Mountain on the western edge of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area is an excellent place to find the sun and enjoy panoramic views of glacial history written in the rocks of the Cascade Mountains. The trail up to the summit of Bendera Mountain is 3.3 miles in length (and the same distance back; total 6.6 miles) with an elevation gain of 3048 feet for a final elevation of 5256 feet (according to my GPS). The last 1.5 miles of the trail gain 1800 feet by cutting straight up the mountain on a narrow path (2 feet wide in most places), the last .5 mile gaining 1000 feet. Difficult as this last leg is, the view at the top, and the feeling of accomplishment is not to be denied. Take Interstate 90 east and get off at Exit 45 (Road No. 9030). At the stop sign, turn left, go under the freeway to Forest Service Road No. 9030. Drive about a half-mile to a road junction and continue straight about three miles on Road No. 9031 to trailhead parking and facilities, elevation about 2,300 feet. Allow about an hour drive time from Seattle. A Northwest Forest Pass is required.

hiking
1 minute ago

was here the morning of 4/15/18, boot pack stopped less then a mile from the lake but with no snowshoes was too much with just poles. Will check it out again soon.

3 days ago

Be prepared for snow

1 month ago

Steep hike, particularly in the winter with lots of snow. Bring snowshoes if going in the winter, but you can make it without if you know what you’re doing. Amazing views on a clear day. Even a frozen lake is worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great trail highly recommend doing it, it is moderately hard however the view is definitely worth it!

2 months ago

beautiful views on a clear day! Easy to get to from Seattle

Probably a great place to visit during the summer. During the winter you definitely need things to accommodate deep snow and awkward walking angles. Definitely go on a clear day to get the best views. It cleared up just enough to get a good view.

snowshoeing
3 months ago

Did this today 12/20/2017 morning road to trailhead is covered with snow and big potholes not safe of low clearance cars anymore.Saw couple cars stuck on our way back. be careful!!!

Also most of trail is covered under snow. Very beautiful hike

4 months ago

As of today.... the last stretch to the pass after lil bandera junction got a little stressful ... even with gear. We made it all the way but I can see this becoming almost impassable with any more snowfall. Road up is still fine.

4 months ago

hard but worth it.

5 months ago

There was not any snow at all this weekend.

hiking
6 months ago

Lots of snow/packed ice. Come prepared.

hiking
6 months ago

Love this hike. Perfect swimming lake. Bring friends.

hiking
6 months ago

Did the loop on the map clockwise (many comments here are not for the loop and should be going in the 'Mason Lake' trail).
The old trail portion is not easy as it's very steep and narrow at times but it makes for a nice little adventure. While the main trail was busy on the way down, we didn't see a single person on the old trail. There is no sign at the start of the old trail and it's easy to miss it and having alltrails on the phone was useful to find it. Nice view of Mount Rainier on the way down.

6 months ago

Path was a bit steep in the beginning but was wide and not rocky.
View at the top was amazing

hiking
7 months ago

Good hike with some nice views. A gradual elevation gain through out the hike. Very nice fall foliage color near the top. The lake was very serene and quiet. The noise from I-90 was heard through out the hike but not when you at the lake.

7 months ago

Great trail for conditioning. I am an intermediate hiker so this was a good challenge with the elevation gain. Pretty lake at the end as a reward!

trail running
7 months ago

excellent for trail running. gets hard but not too hard. good alternative to bandera for your dog. was INSANELY crowded when i left, so hike early

hiking
7 months ago

Good hike! Was hazy/smoky on the way up from nearby forest fires - around 8:45AM. Some steep parts but not too bad. Lake was beautiful.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike. Got there just before 8am on Labor Day weekend, and car park was already busy, so an early start is a good move. The outward part is certainly a strenuous couple of hours as the incline is relentless and you're doing over 2000ft of ascent in less than two hours. But the path is good and the views wonderful. Mason Lake is a peaceful reward and a nice place for a snack. We saw Rainier shrouded in cloud at the top. IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE RETURN: we decided to do the loop, and as others have reported it's hard to find. In fact it doesn't even appear on the map on the trailhead, so I wouldn't have known about it without AllTrails. But if you trust your phone's GPS and the AllTrails app, you'll find it, although it doesn't look like a real trail as it's blocked by a fallen tree. It's as if they don't want you to take it. For the first 20 mins or so of the descent you might wonder if you made the right decision, as almost noone else is on this part of the trail (because they don't know it's there!) and there is a bunch of steep clambering over roots and then negotiating a small boulder field. Poles were useful. But then the path changes to soft moss underfoot and you have a great hour descending down the river valley through stunning old growth forest with the sound of the stream and waterfalls. Eventually after some steep but easy switchbacks it rejoins the Ira Spring trail for the last mile or so back to the car park. It's quite lovely and I wouldn't have missed it. Sorry so many people don't do it because it's not signed or visible.

7 months ago

XYx

hiking
8 months ago

I absolutely enjoyed this hike. Went with family and friends. Beautiful view at the top.

8 months ago

Very Hard! Great hike. Awesome views with a reward on top...dove into a crystal clear Mason Lake!

8 months ago

Beautiful views! Challenging hike, the lake was a perfect reward.

hiking
8 months ago

Went on this hike today. Arrived around 8:15am and lot was already full so had to park down the road a bit. I think a lot of the cars in the lot were campers, as there were a ton of people camping at the top.
Great hike, now one of my favorites. Have views the whole way up and the lake at the end was beautiful. There were a lot of bugs so be sure to bring bug spray.

hiking
8 months ago

If you want to make it a loop I would go up the old trail and down the Ira Springs trail. Look for a faint turn off to the left 20 mins into the hike. This trail is rougher with a bit of deadfall & scrambly sections. I managed to do it with my 70 & 65 year old parents who are fit but don't spend much time in the mountains. This section of the trail is fun & much less crowded than the Ira Spring trail so I do recommend if you want to make things a bit more 'adventurous'. Nice Alpine lake & Awesome views of Rainier if it's nice out.

9 months ago

Map is wrong (just go out and back on the bottom trail) and gravel road for a few miles to get to the trailhead, but otherwise great hike. Definitely hard to get to the summit but you could go straight to the lake for a moderate hike. Awesome views and nice diversity of trails/views/surroundings. Fairly busy on a Sunday. Would definitely recommend!

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Great Hike, beautiful lake, get there early.....very early.

hiking
9 months ago

The hike was definitely difficult, couldn't find the trailhead for the loop so just ended up going down and back which was fine. Breathtaking views made it worth it but would not go again because if extremely difficulty for me.

hiking
9 months ago

Skip the hike during the weekend, parking situation was horrendous and getting back to I90 was a nightmare, cars were packed for a mile or more without much regard for safety.

That said, hike itself was great, got to the trailhead about 7:30. Trail is in great condition and for the most part shaded, on a hot day such as today, it was a welcome relief. Mountain side is packed with wild flowers and made the hike special and so much enjoyable.

Hike should be rated moderate and works to about 8.5 miles round trip. With the sun out, there were great views of Rainer and the lake is really beautiful.
Decided to skip Bandera Mountain, just too many people on the trail.

Will be back another time during the week for a different experience.

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