Hike to Bandera Mountain
Washington › Ira Spring 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
- Hiking Boots
- First Aid Kit
- Lots of water
- Trekking Pole
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Backpacking, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running
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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.
This is one of my all time favorites. In the summer, the wildflowers are beautiful. Part way up (I think about 2 or so miles into the hike, there's an obvious sign) you can veer off to Mason Lake, or continue up the trail, which basically turns into a field of boulders/scrambling for a while, and eventually reach an absolutely stunning view at the top. Beautiful in every direction. I tried this hike in late spring, and there was still too much snow for my moderately-experienced party to comfortably do the scramble, and we couldn't finish the hike as planned. We ended up going to mason lake instead, which is lovely in the winter. A very steep and pretty difficult hike that's worth every step. Unless you are very experienced and prepared to climb in the snow, it's best to go in the summer.
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