Mount Defiance and Mason Lake via Ira Spring Memorial Trail, Old Mason Lake Trail, and Mount Defiance Ridge Trail

hard 151 reviews

Mount Defiance and Mason Lake via Ira Spring Memorial Trail, Old Mason Lake Trail, and Mount Defiance Ridge Trail is a 7.6 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: 7.6 miles Elevation Gain: 3,503 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

fishing

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

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

hiking
2 months ago

Thurs 12/5: FR 9030 / Mason Lake Rd / FR 9031 was CLOSED. Not sure why or when it will reopen.

hiking
3 months ago

The view of on the summit is spectacular! On my way up I missed Old Mason Lake Trail and went onto Ira Spring Memorial Trail. The trail is in very good condition. Part of the section from Mason Lake to summit is cover is snow or ice. On my way down I decided to try the shorter Old Mason Lake Trail. I almost missed it again. It's much narrowed and less traveled compared to Ira Spring Memorial Trail. I came across at least 5 fallen trees that lie across the trail. After the trail divides with Mason Creek Trail, there's a large rock field. I followed carins for 15 minutes, but then couldn't find the next one and got lost. I ended up going north bushwhacking onto Mason Creek Trail and got back to trail head.

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

This review pertains mostly to the Mason Lake Trail portion of the hike. I had hiked to Mt Defiance before (love that hike!!) via Ira Spring but this was my first time on the old Mason Lake trail. Using GPS I found it easily (it even appears on the Pokémon Go map!) but it would otherwise be easy to miss. It is a tough climb, as steep as Mailbox Peak for most of the way. When I got to the rock field I just could not for the life of me find a trail across, and I hate rock fields anyway, so I bushwhacked north to the Mason Creek trail and took that the rest of the way to the lake. It was not a difficult bushwhack because it was short, the stream and trail were visible, and it was downhill from the Mason Trail. Also a bit rocky but really beautiful and easy to follow. These trails bypass the overlook and all the crowds. There were lots of cars in the lot but once we turned off Ira Spring onto the Mason Lake trail we had it all to ourselves. Note also: You can start your hike on the N side of exit 42 and skip the long drive down the gravel road. Mason Creek Trail starts just past the concrete pylons and goes straight up to Ira Spring Trailhead. It’s easy to follow, not very steep, and we had it all to ourselves.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked this on 9/28/2019. There was a good amount of snow after you pass the fork directing you to Defiance, Island Lakes, and Pratt. The snow was about an inch or so and fresh. I’m pretty sure the sun will melt it off the next day. The clouds blocked off the view of the 3 lakes on the top and you could see the top of rainier. I would recommend doing this hike on a clear day.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
no shade
off trail
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

Took the old Mason lake trail up. It wasn't too bad but it took me a while to find the first cairn on the talus field. Take the last entrance on the talus field where the trail disappear and that is where the cairn starts. I would prefer the IRA spring instead because it's more scenery. The fall meadows are booming and it's beautiful. Was attempting to go up Bandera on the way down, but the rain was just gushing at me so I had to call it off. Couple muddy spot and blowdown trees on the way up to Defiance.

hiking
5 months ago

Incredible. Finished this hike this morning using the Ira Spring Trail Head all the way (5.1 mi to the top). I stepped off at 0645 and didn't see anyone else on the trail for hours. Challenging to say the least. I recommend trekking poles if you have them.

hiking
scramble
5 months ago

This is in my top 3 hikes ever, it probably would be my top but all the bees and flies at the top made it not fun to hang around. The views are breathtaking, the best of the bunch...almost feel unsteady on my feet in some places bc trail narrow and steep to look down. This hike has everything, nice groomed trails, then narrow, wildflowers, rocks, scramble, climb, forest, lake, you name it. I was exhausted tho. Next time I try I will leave out doing bandera first...the 2 together were a killer! We hiked up IRA spring to bandera and down to Mason & up Defiance.

hiking
fee
muddy
5 months ago

$5 parking fee, not discovery pass. Beautiful lake and views even with the fog.

hiking
5 months ago

This Peak outdoes Mt. Pilchuck, Mailbox Peak, and so many others. Take Ira Spring Trail to start, camp at Lake Moran (first come first serve and no campfires) and head up to Mt. Defiance for 360 views of heaven. Get to the top of Mt. Defiance early and you might get a few minutes to take it in yourself. I did this hike solo and was gifted almost 30 minutes alone on the Peak. I doubt I’ll ever experience that feeling ever again.

hiking
6 months ago

Ooohhh ok, that’s why everyone says not to take the Old Mason Lake Trail — first it is steep af and then you have to climb through a tallus field. Granted, depending on your desire for adventure, maybe that is a selling point. I took the Old Mason Lake Trail up and determined it was way too steep to descend, so I took the IRA spring trail upon returning from Defiance summit. Although steep, it’s fairly findable through the forest — there are a few spots I needed to follow someone else’s GPS track, as the trail goes off the dotted line. Once you hit the tallus, you can just follow the cairns. The summit was totally socked in but tons of huckleberries ripe right now :)

If you follow the old trail, be prepared for boulders scrambling to reach the other side of the trail, IRA spring is little longer but easier and well maintained.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

This was a great hike with friends. During our trip. The old Mason lake trail was blocked off so we had to take the ira spring trail. By the end we had clocked just shy of 12 miles. If you are considering it a short hike, it no longer is. Other than the extra miles, it was well maintained, pretty clearly marked and had great views from the peak.

hiking
bugs
rocky
7 months ago

Wow, that was crazy hard but so rewarding. We took the Ira Spring Memorial Trail the whole way, the Old Mason Trail is really hard to follow and we didn't even see where it would have started. Commenting only on my experience on the Mt. Defiance Ridge Trail, it was extremely rocky, lots of people had hiking poles but I didn't think they were too necessary unless you're carrying a lot. If your dog pulls on his leash, I would not recommend bringing him. Very steep, narrow trails. In some places I had to use my hands and knees to climb up the rocks. At the summit, there were literally hundreds of bees and flies, and limited places to sit since it was so popular. The view was breathtaking and so worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

This app shows me the route via Old Mason Lake trail, which is hard to follow. We took the Ira Springs trail which adds a few extra miles. We clocked just over 11 on my Apple Watch. The hike to mason lake is a nice steady climb which I’ve done more than a few times. Yesterday, we decided to make the extra push up to Mt Defiance. Boy, that trail is no joke! It starts out pretty easy - but you need to watch out for the Main Trail signs around the lake as that can be a little confusing. Once it starts climbing it gets pretty tough. The tail is very rooty & damp with quite a few muddy patches. At some point you come out on to a flat bit where the wildflowers are breathtaking right now. After that there’s another steep section up to the top. There was a lot of cloud yesterday so we didn’t really get to see the views, but I was pretty exhausted by the end. Take plenty of water & snacks. Bugs were not bad, only noticed a few just after the lake. The whole thing took us around 7hrs, with breaks at the lake & the top.

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome hike with diverse scenery. I did both Mason Lake and Bandera Mt. These views are worth the trip. My only complaint is that you can hear the freeway for the majority of the hike. I got there a little before 8am and the parking lot was pretty bare, but by 11am when I finished hiking it was packed! So get there early and have fun!(:

running
7 months ago

Great run! The lake is nice and the trail has multiple open areas with great views. Beautiful flowers and views on the last section before Mt defiance summit.

hiking
7 months ago

With the combination of the boulder field traverse and the views at the lake and the peak, this might be my favourite trail so far. However due to the lack of signage or markers on the old trail, I probably lost nearly an hour of time on the way up, as a result of losing the trail a few times and not knowing where to go in the boulder field. Looking at the recordings on here, quite a few people had the same problems. 4 hours up, 2.5 down.

hiking
muddy
rocky
7 months ago

A great leg workout. I arrived at 7am and there were a handful of cars in the car park. There was a lot of cloud cover and a fine misty rain that only started to clear slightly around 1pm. I didn’t see many people on the trail on the way up but a lot of groups on the way down. There was no visibility at the top but the wildflowers were absolutely amazing. Muddy in places but the trail is well maintained. Great place to visit!

hiking
scramble
7 months ago

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