Hike to Bandera Mountain

8 miles 3400 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Mikaela Tangeman

Distance: 8 miles roundtrip. Elevation gain: 3400 ft. Views of Mount Rainier and Mason Lake. Bear grass and wildflowers in the spring.

This hike has unreal views of Mount Rainier. On a great clear spring day the mountain is out. It's right in your face. Its incredible. If you tackle this hike in the spring the bear grass and wildflowers are alive and blooming towards the top and it makes for some fantastic picture taking. Once at the top there is a picturesque view of Mason Lake.

You start out on Bandera Mountain/Ira Spring Trail Trailhead #1038. There is a turn off to the left towards Mason Lake - you will want to go straight to get to the top of Bandera Mountain to see the beargrass and wildflowers. It is a STEEP scramble and many people turn around if they are not prepared for the steepness. Hiking boots are required. Camping is also available at Mason Lake with a permit that needs to be redeemed before the hike and placed on your car and pack.

Getting there: Take exit 45 off of I-90 and turn north onto FR 9030. Stay left onto FR 9031. Follow it to its end and the trailhead for the Ira Spring Trail #1038. Road is one-lane gravel and dirt. GPS Coordinates: 47.4247, -121.5836

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Easy Parking


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over 1 year ago

A great day hike with epic views, good early season hike

Parking: large parking lot almost completely full with people parking down the road, road is full of pot holes but any car can make it. I'd either get here early or come afternoon when the worst of the crowds have left. Crowds: fairly heavy traffic but not too bad (less than Mt Si or Serene Lake), decreased greatly when you left the Ira Spring trail and started straight up the mountain. Weather: warm, mostly sunny. Snow: significant snow to cross at the very highest altitude but it wasn't as bad as Mason Lake which we did on the same trip. Conditions: trail is well maintained, once you leave Ira Spring trail it goes straight up the mountain and is somewhat difficult simply because of the incline and then the snow near the top. View (8/10): Amazing 360 views of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Mason Lake, Putrid Pete, Mount Defiance, Snoqualmie Pass, Mt Rainier. Photography (7/10): bright mid day light, otherwise good views, would like to come back with better lighting. Would I do it again? Yes.


Beautiful hike. Flowers just stating to bud. No snow on trails.

Hiked 5/9/16

Wild flowers not out yet. Still some snow. Was pretty at top, but steep to get to.


over 4 years ago

First Backpack trip of the year

I backpacked to Bandera and hiked mason lake in the morning. Still quite a bit of snow in the area. Be prepared, it was a little chilly and the description is not wrong about the steepness. The views how ever are quite possibly worth the work!

First spring hike of the season- and it was awesome!

We started on the trail around 9am and the parking lot was pretty much full by that point- so it's a very popular hike. Right off of I-90 and only and hour from Seattle. It has quite the elevation gain the whole way up but nothing that's back breaking. Views from the top are worth it! Caught the largest snow fields around 3800ft and couldn't hike much further up since all we had was microspikes and poles- no ice axes to attempt to get over the big ice/snow fields. Planning on heading back out in a few weeks when the snow if more melted and get into the lakes hiding behind.

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