Hike to Bandera Mountain

8 Miles Round Trip - 3400 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Ira Spring Trail - Search Nearby - 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

Tags

Fitness
Photography
Running
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Lake
Scenic

Details

8 Miles
3400 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

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Overall rating: 

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.

Hike

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.