Backpack to Mason Lake via Ira Spring

6.5 miles 2420 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Scott Kranz

Get great views as you head up the trail and even better ones of tree-lined Mason Lake. If you're staying overnight, enjoy lakeside views from your campsite.

Ira Spring trail offers up great views prior to reaching the ridge that you go over to reach Mason Lake. The lake itself is an amazing sight—beautiful water with rocks and trees along the shores, making this 6.5-mile roundtrip hike well worth it.

The trail to Mason Lake, the Ira Spring trail, provides several options. Prior to the ridge (before reaching the lake), one can decide to veer off on a separate trail (to the right) and do Bandera Mountain, another great location with great views. As another example, one can keep hiking past Mason Lake and visit any number of other alpine lakes (such as Little Mason Lake, Kulla Kulla Lake, etc.)

To get to the Ira Spring Trailhead, take I-90 to Exit 45, and travel for 3-4 miles north east of the highway to the trailhead.

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Tags

Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake

Reviews

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🥉Contributor

almost 3 years ago

Plenty of space for everyone!

Did this one as a day hike and the elevation gain definitely gives you a good workout! The Ira spring trail is gorgeous in the fall and you get pretty good glimpses of Rainier as well. After about 3 miles, the hike tops off and leads into a steady decline as you make your way down to the lake (but also note that you will have to hike back up when you wish to return). It is a pretty popular lake so it can get crowded but I recommend walking a little bit further around it and I'm sure you can snag a good spot!

Steady incline hike that's well worth the effort.

It took our group around 2 hours to hike to Mason lake. The steady incline that starts around a mile from the trail head is a good test of endurance. After about the half way point you are mostly exposed so be prepared with some sun screen on clear days and a camera at the ready for great views of Mt. Rainer. Once at Mason Lake there are some nice designated camping sites along trail said of the lake. Bring your bathing suit to cool off as the lake water is surprisingly warm for being at 4k ft. Beware of the bugs though as they got quite heavy.

Good Exercise <3

I started around 4 & made it back down by almost 7. Nice and easy trail & then it gets a little steeper the last mile aprox. I was alone & it felt a little eerie with the fog setting in, almost felt like a bear was watching me! :) definitely bring water & a snack for the top, if you plan on staying up at the lake, make sure to leave earlier in the day! Gorgeous view points towards your final ascent! _fortheloveof (IG) if u want to see pictures. Moderate hike, great for dogs

Awesome

This is a great hike and worth it. Just make sure to park properly as it is difficult to move the car after you finished your hike because people park very close due to tight parking spots.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Awesome spring trip!

I led a group of friends up towards Mason Lake as a day hike in early April - the whole Pacific Northwest has seen some early-season sunshine this year, so the snow was melted off until a few hundred feet below the lake. The trail comes out onto an awesome meadow and boulder field at about 2.5 miles, and the views are spectacular - especially in spring, the south side of the Snoqualmie valley is still covered in snow and Rainier is entirely blanketed in white. The only catch is that you'll need an ice axe and crampons to actually reach the lake via the meadow that the trail normally climbs. There's also a boulder field adjacent to the meadow that can be scaled safely, although be very careful of postholing through the snow and catching a leg between rocks. The boulder field was definitely do-able, but it was enough to turn most day hikers around (especially given the views already gained!).

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