Summit Mt. Defiance

Ira Spring Trail

Distance

11 Miles

Elevation Gain

3300 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Scott Kranz

Forest
Lake
Scenic

Hike your way to amazing views at the summit. The last quarter mile ascent is pretty steep, but the reward is well worth it.

This hike offers some of the best views one can see in the area. On a clear day, you'll get amazing views of Mt. Rainier. The best part is that as you start heading uphill in the first half mile, you'll get great views of McClellan Butte. Once you reach the summit of Defiance at 5584 feet, you'll be towering over McClellan by roughly 400 feet.

Early in the hike, you'll cross Mason Creek. During the summer and fall, the river is drier and it's easy to cross by using logs and rocks. Be careful if you decide to go earlier in the year as the river could be running a lot faster from snow melt. Once you've crossed, continue heading uphill toward Mason Lake. When you've come across the Ira Spring plaque, you'll head quickly downhill to Mason Lake.

Take out the water and your camera, and get a few shots of Mason Lake, then continue on the trail. You'll have to cross Mason Creek once more. From here, continue heading uphill toward the summit. The trail will fork without a trail sign pointing you in the right direction. When you reach the fork, head to the right - the left will lead you to Little Mason Lake. Next you'll come to another junction that's signed with the Mt. Defiance Trail. Take a left here and continue your hike to the summit.

Once you reach the summit, enjoy the views of Dirty Harry's Peak, Mount Teneriffe, Russian Butte, and Lake Kulla Kulla.

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $400/night

LOGE at The Pass Life

Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

From $55/night

LOGE Leavenworth

Leavenworth, Washington

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Mt Defiance Hike

Hiking up to Mt Defiance is probably one of my favorite hikes so far in Washington. You start at the iris spring trail which has a pretty steady incline but rewarded with wild flowers and a great view of Mt Rainier. You then have the option of veering off to Bandera Mtn if desired. Continuing on the Iris Spring trail, you reach mason lake which is a great resting point for some lunch or you could turn Mt Defiance into a two day hike and camp here. The rest of the 1.5 miles up to Mt Defiance is steep and difficult but once you get to the top you won't be disappointed! With panoramic views of alpine lakes below you and Mt Baker and Mt Rainier level to you, it's definitely worth it.

Distance

11 Miles

Elevation Gain

3300 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Scott Kranz

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike to Bandera Mountain

Adventure

Backpack to Mason Lake via Ira Spring

Adventure

Camp and Trail Run from Rainbow Lake

Adventure

Swim in the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

how-to

Experience Van Life Without Cashing In Your 401k!

Hit the road and sleep in comfort on your next adventure without breaking the bank!

travel

10 Reasons Why Guides Make Adventures Better

Let the experts lead the way.

skiing

An Introduction To Ski Touring

Enjoy the peace and quiet of the backcountry and untracked powder.

More Stories