Ira Spring & Putrid Pete's Peak Trails


Day Hike - Mount Defiance

Spectacular views of Mt. Rainier and 360-degree Cascade views from the summit of Mt. Defiance after a moderately strenuous hike up.

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  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 11.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,580 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 5,584 ft
  • Pace: 1,000 ft/hr

Trailhead 8:30am. Olympia group will meet at 6:30am at MWPR. We may also be able to arrange carpools from the North Bend Safeway.

Oly group will probably stop for a meal on the way home, so please don't make concrete plans for that evening.

This is a mentored lead hike for Lisa Katzman.  Please contact Lisa for questions and leader permission at

The hike to Mt. Defiance starts on the Ira Spring Trail, heads up part of Bandera Mountain, then descends about 200 feet to Mason Lake, where it connects to the Mt. Defiance Trail.  The total trip is 11 miles and gains a little more than 3500 feet in elevation. 

On a clear day, hikers are treated to a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier for a significant portion of the ascent, and a 360-degree view of the Cascades from the summit.  This mountain is in the I-90 corridor, but is set back from the road and offers up a very different perspective of the surrounding peaks than more popular trails like Si and Mailbox.

This hike will be at a social pace. The group will stick together and nobody will be left behind.  I am planning about 4 - 4.5 hours to reach the summit with a healthy break at Mason Lake (weather permitting).  Bugs can get pretty annoying around the lake, so make sure you pack your bug spray!

On the way back, we will assess time and group energy, and make a group decision about a possible add-on of the Bandera Mountain summit (we’d actually be hitting the false summit…the true summit is buried in trees with no view and involves a hard to follow trail). If we decide to tag Bandera as well, it will add about 1.5 miles and 900 feet of elevation gain to the hike.

We’ll arrive at the trailhead by 8:30 AM, since Mason Lake is a very popular hike that shares a parking lot with Defiance and Bandera.  We will be sharing the trail with lots of friends to the lake, but can expect to leave the crowds behind when we head up the Mt. Defiance trail.

More details about carpools and timing will be communicated via email the week before the hike.

While this will be at a social pace, this is a long hike with decent elevation gain (if we decide to add on Bandera, it will be a total of 12+ miles with about 4500 feet of gain), so it does require a good level of conditioning/endurance. To ensure the safety and comfort of the group, I am requiring leader permission.


Ira Spring & Putrid Pete's Peak Trails

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
  11. Trekking poles
  12. Gas money for driver
Trip Reports