Mason Lake via Ira Spring Memorial Trail

HARD 358 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.

6.7 miles
2,293 feet

dogs on leash





nature trips

trail running






wild flowers




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.

7 minutes ago

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!

1 day ago

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.

2 days ago

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 :)

4 days ago

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. :)

7 days ago

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

9 days ago

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.

9 days ago

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!

14 days ago

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

15 days ago

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

21 days ago

22 days ago

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.

23 days ago

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.

27 days ago

Beautiful views.

28 days ago

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.

29 days ago

I just hiked this on Sunday, and the views along the way were breathtaking. The lake was calm and serene and I was able to find a great spot to rest for lunch. Almost the entire way back was downhill, so I was able to focus less on the exercise aspect and soak in the beauty.

1 month ago

Hiked May 29, 2018. Great little butt kicker. If hiking in overcast or cloud cover prepare for very moist conditions at Mason lake and tons of critters; I would plan your lunch accordingly. A great hike overall, definitely wear boots instead of sportivas like I did.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike all the way up! Definitely on the harder side, wouldn’t recommend for a first timer. No snow as of 6/2 just a little muddy.

1 month ago

This hike was gorgeous. One I have wanted to do for a long time! It’s closer to 8 miles RT and lots of elevation gain. Some of the nicest scenic vistas I’ve seen though!

1 month ago

It’s actually 8 miles round trip. 4.2 miles to Mason lake. Great hike, killer incline the whole way. Not a hike for a first timer

1 month ago

Only a small amount of snow around but not on the trail near the very top by Mason Lake. No ice or snow gear required. Great hike with awesome destination.

1 month ago

Great hike. Trailhead @ 8am. Trail basically to myself on the way up. Fog hide the views on the way up. Minimal snow on trail as you enter Mason Lake bowl. Headed out and by this time the clouds had settled and I was able to see the beautiful mountain peaks. In and out in 4 hours. Beautiful hike.

1 month ago

Fairly easy trail awarded with a beautiful pristine lake at the finish. Most of the hike is a gradual inclined switchback in the woods, but as you get toward the last half-mile you open up into a more rocky path with beautiful mountain views. from mason lake (in good conditions) you can head on to Mount Defiance, or head back down about .5 mile from Mason Lake and explore the path to Mount Bandera. ADVICE: go early (or late), this trail gets packed. I arrived at 830 am and was far from the first there but was able to park within a few hundred feet of the parking lot. By noon when I left, there was a line of cars well over half a mile down the path from the parking lot.

1 month ago

Pretty easy hike up to mason lake. Started at about 1pm and there were plenty of parking spots cleared out from the morning crowd. There are some steeper sections and then a little bit of snow as you hit the fork and head down to the lake. Had the pup with us and saw lots of other people on the trail.

2 months ago

Intended to go camping but got turned back above the snowline. Great hike up to the snow but then you get into some deep slush over rocks on a fairly steep mountainside. I had crampons and poles and still had trouble, although I also had 80lbs on my back so it might've been more doable if I had prepared for a day trip. Other people seemed to be doing okay, but it was still mostly experienced-looking hikers at the top.

2 months 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 months ago

Be prepared for snow

4 months 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.

4 months ago

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

5 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.

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