Mount Defiance and Mason Lake Trail

HARD 135 reviews

Mount Defiance and Mason Lake Trail is a 9.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back 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 October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
9.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,671 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

Hike to the top of Mt. Defiance for views of surrounding alpine lakes

1 month ago

Stunning views! Start early (we arrived 0645 and had plenty of spaces in parking lot) and bring mosquito netting/hat, bugs didn’t bite but they were fierce and numerous! Swim in Mason on way down was fantastic.

1 month ago

Perfect conditions to head up, tons of blooming wildflowers also as others have said that last mile wow! Bugs at the top so bring bug spray and don’t forget to sign the summit register

1 month ago

Great view near the top, and on a hot day, refreshing lake to swim in!

trail running
1 month ago

We actually approached this from the Pratt Lake trailhead, making it a 16.3 mile round trip. The trail is in good condition and it wasn't buggy. But it was wet and slippery in places. There were also a few small snow fields left, with serious postholing and snow-bridge collapse potential. But overall a great trail.

1 month ago

Went to Defiance on 6/26, our group finished the Mason lake hike faster than anstisipated so we decided to hike Mt. Defiance. Well worth it, few small snow patches left and a couple fallen down trees but very douable in sneakers. From Ira springs trail to the peak and back was about a 7 hour hike with gracious breaks.

hiking
1 month ago

Tremendous hike on a perfect weather day. Arrived at Ira Spring trailhead at 7:30 AM and got the last actual parking spot.. cars already accumulating on the road.

Marsh area leading up to Defiance ridge from Mason Lake is really buggy right now. Still some snow going up the ridge, but nothing significant. Trail breaks out above the treeline into what's basically a wildflower garden. Fun but steep ascent up to the summit. 360 degree views. Rainier and Adams to the south, Baker and Glacier peak to the north. Very hot on the exposed ridgelines on the way down.

Mileage listed on description is low. 11+ miles roundtrip.

2 months ago

amazing flower display

hiking
2 months ago

Loved the trail to the lake and it was all good until hitting the snow just 20 mins after leaving the lakeside. Continued from there on spikes, but jít a steep slope of snow, which in the warm.weather didn't seem too stable. Had to turn around cca 300m (elevation) shy of the peak. Went back and did Bandera instead. Would want to come back and attempt again, looks beautiful.

2 months ago

Got to experience Defiance on a perfect day. Slow-going to the top due to snow on the trails but the views were unreal. Mount Rainier was out in all her glory.

backpacking
5 months ago

great pit stop while backpacking through the alpine lakes for flyfishing.

6 months ago

love!!!

hiking
10 months ago

This was done October 14, 2017. The trail getting to Mason lake was gorgeous, fall colors everywhere. 2 miles into the hike the view was spectacular, there were about 2 inches of snow. After Mason Lake I suggest you bring Microspikes, over 2 feet of snow on the trail. The trail was easy to find. We didn't make it to the summit of Mt Defiance. We decide on a group decision to stop here about 500ft before the summit. There weren't any boot path to lead us the way, It took us 7.5 hours of hiking. Over 11 miles out and back, gained over 3,200ft of elevation.

hiking
10 months ago

Nice hike some snow on the ground as you get close to mount defiance

hiking
10 months ago

I love this hike. Mason Lake is SUPERB in the summer. I loved swimming there. I went to Mt. Defiance when there was still just a little snow on the ground and the views were fun. Since it's combined with Mason Lake, this is a really worthy hike. I'd do it again in the summer and get an even earlier start and bring even more food for chilling at the lake. I think you can camp there too, which would be awesome.

hiking
11 months ago

Arrived at 7:20 AM with plenty of space to park, about 20 vehicles in the parking lot. Trail was great, ascended to Mason Lake quickly and saw plenty of campers. Continued on to Mt Defiance and reached the top fairly quickly. I was joined by about five or six other people in the twenty minutes I spent up there before I started to descend. I was surprised at the lack of people ascending past Mason Lake, but once I got back to Mason Lake I noticed much larger crowds. I took a dip in the chilly waters, which was refreshing, and then made my way back to the car. On the way back I passed a large number of people who I assume were going to Mason Lake, and once back to the parking lot (around 1pm) it was completely full with the spillout running way down the forest road. I enjoyed this trail but would recommend getting there around 8 AM to enjoy the trail in a little more peace.

hiking
11 months ago

Went up there today 08/25/2015, parked at Ira spring trailhead parking lot was almost full at 8:57am. Trail is very well marked till Mason Lake and once you reach at lake stay on the main trail and after half a mile you will see a signs directing towards Mount defiance. Last mile was steep but doable. Took 1 hour 40 minutes to Mason lake and 1 more hour to mount defiance. 2 hours to decent down to Parking lot. Used hiking poles to decent. Make sure bring plenty of water.
Best of luck

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

Hiked 8/12/17. This was my third time to the trail. First was up to Lake Mason; second we crawled over and under large trees blown down by winter storm for 3 miles just to trailhead and another 1.5 on the trail (total obstacle course); this time we went past lake up Mt Defiance. Defiance was challenging and wooded for part of it before exiting into a meadow that was filled with beautiful wild flowers. To reach the summit, the last ~150ft of gain was very steep.

People swimming in lake as we descended; nice campgrounds around lake area for backpackers. I only gave this trail 4 stars due to the crowds, but an awesome hike nevertheless!

hiking
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hiked 7/23/17 - BRING BUG SPRAY. We were blown away by how many cars were parked, but most were going to mason lake. Pretty busy all the way to the lake, not super hard hiking but makes you sweat. The last few miles to mount defiance were so beautiful, and minimal people. The last half mile is killer but totally worth it. The bugs were SO bad at the top, we rushed to take a few pictures and get out of there, they were even driving the dog nuts. Bugs at the lake were annoying but nothing compared to the peak. Overall super fun!

backpacking
Monday, July 24, 2017

Hiked at night with flashlight to summit to watch sunrise. Total fog at sunrise and millions of biting flies on the top. Pretty coming back down though! Way too many day hikers coming up to Mason Lake.

hiking
Friday, July 21, 2017

Amazing Trail to Mason Lake. With the exception of the gigantic swarm of mosquitos that won't stop bothering you (bring a repellant☺).

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

Made it to the top of Mount Defiance but had to tread through quite a bit of snow. Trail is unsteady in a lot of areas but it's doable if you take caution.

hiking
Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Didn't make it to mount defiance cuz the snow is pretty unstable and I fell in a few times. I did go to lake mason and then came back and up the other side of the lake - awesome view! I did not want to leave : )

hiking
Saturday, May 20, 2017

This was a great hike! There were a lot of potholes getting to the entrance so drive slow. Once you get on the trail the beginning had lots of fallen branches and debris. Past that the trail goes straight up. Kicks your butt!! I didn't make it to the lake because it snowed a couple days ago and it was too thick. Hope to go back in a few weeks when everything has melted. Made it 2.5 miles before turning around. Went up twice just for cardio and it was 9.8 miles round trip.

hiking
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Never have a stopped so frequently on a hike just to take pictures. You'll enjoy awesome views the entire length of the trail. The trail is pretty easy for the first 4 miles. However once you pass the sign that says Mt. Defiance you can expect one FIERCLY DEFIANT mountain! The last mile was grueling and the turn to the summit was so subtle I almost missed it (thank you AllTrails map!). One of the single best hikes I've done to date. Loved it.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Mount defiance is a beast. It took us 6 hours round trip (we ventured off to another lake for 30 minutes). From Mason lake it is at least another hour to an hour and half. Hard but worth it. Going to take my dad up it in the spring. It keeps going up. You have to follow the trail and just keep going. You will reach the top.

hiking
Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tough hike with amazing views like 90% of the time. If reading this for advice for your first trip up, once you hit the ridge section with grass near the top (probably the coolest part besides the summit), keep an eye out for the final turn that cuts hard right and up for the final scramble to the peak. Its easy to miss. Definitely doing it again!

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

This is a nice hike with incredible views but the trail was heavily trafficked and parking was a nightmare. At Mason Lake there was lots of campers. It was a nice place but a lot of people.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Busy trail past May, nice short hike up the lower flanks of Bandera. Great shore access along the North side for fishing. Bear grass out in full force, surprising lack of marmots

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Great hike but still snow along the trail up to Mt . Defiance and fallen trees on the trail as well.

hiking
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Trail was very crowded - to be expected on a holiday. Had to park almost a mile from the trailhead.
Trail is a little rough in spots - lots of mud and standing water, a bit of snowpack, and considerable deadfall to negotiate over, under, and around. I turned around after a mile or so toward Defiance past Mason Lake.
I then chose to go up the peak over Mason Lake (Bandera), to which the trail was in excellent shape. Although the steep rock clambering was not for casual hikers. The views are amazing from the top!

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