Ira Spring & Putrid Pete's Peak Trails

Two trails in the Snoqualmie corridor. Hike the Ira Spring Trail through second growth forest, over Bandera Ridge, and down to Mason Lake. Continue on to Island and Rainbow Lakes, hike to Mount Defiance or Bandera Mountain. Hike and scramble Putrid Pete's Peak Trail to Defiance Ridge and a few good scrambles along the ridge. Or make a loop trip of these two trails.

getting there

Ira Spring Trailhead

Take Exit 45 off of I-90 and turn north onto Forest Road 9030. In 0.8 mile at the junction with Forest Road 9031, go straight onto Forest Road 9031. Continue 2.9 miles to the Ira Spring Trailhead (2,200 ft).

Putrid Pete's Peak Trailhead

Take Exit 42 (Tinkham Road) off of I-9, head north, and park on the north side of the freeway where the trail starts (1,600 ft).

on the trail

Ira Spring Trail

From the Ira Spring Trailhead, hike 2.7 miles  and 2,000 feet of elevation gain to a junction (4,200 ft). Turn left and continue 0.7 mile to Mason Lake or turn right and continue 0.6 mile to Little Bandera Mountain (5,157 ft).

Putrid Pete's Peak Trail

From the north  side of Exit 42 on I-90 hike an unofficial trail west for 1.3 miles to its junction with Putrid Pete's Peak Trail. Turn left and continue 0.4 mile to the junction with the Dirty Harry's Balcony connector trail. Turn right and continue up Putrid Pete's Peak Trail to Defiance Ridge. Alternatively, hike the Ira Spring Trail to its first switchback and continue straight on Putrid Pete's Peak Trail.


  • Extend your trip by continuing on to Island and Rainbow Lakes.
  • Thru-hike from the Ira Spring Trailhead to the Granite Creek Trailhead via Thompson Lake with car shuttle or key exchange.  It's 13.6 miles with 4,000 feet of elevation gain including side trip to summit of Mount Defiance (5,584). 
  • The Ira Spring Memorial Trail also the start for hiking to Mount Defiance (5,584 ft) and Bandera Mountain (5,241 ft), scrambling Putrid Pete's Peak and Web Mountain, and the early season snow scramble to Mount Defiance & Bandera Mountain.
  • Consider a thru hike. Hiking from Mason Lake to Talapus Lake is 2,200 feet elevation gain and 1,600 feet elevation loss.
  • Past Mason Lake the route becomes rougher and less well maintained. There are several short sections that are 20-40 feet  that are quite steep, so the Rainbow/Island Lake  variation is Strenuous difficulty and the Mason Lake only variation is Moderate/Strenuous difficulty.
  • From Putrid Pete's Peak Trail, scramble the peaks on Defiance Ridge, Putrid Pete's Peak, Mount Defiance, and Web Mountain.
  • Consider making the Ira Spring Trail and Putrid Pete's Peak a loop trip.

Information For leaders

scheduling & Permits

  • If you're leaving from the Putrid Pete's Peak Trailhead, please review the Dirty Harry's Peak, Balcony & East Balcony route/place to be sure a trip is not leaving from this trailhead on the same day.
  • As of 2017, the Snoqualmie Ranger District considers Mountaineers trips and courses to be "nominal use". Leaders should print and copy this designation letter to show rangers they may see on trail or carry a digital copy on their phone.

Summit Register Update needed:

Bandera Mountain's summit register needs to be replaced, with both a new canister and log. Please contact Member Services or our Seattle Program Center for more information on how to help out. 

  • Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
  • Length: 6.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,550 ft
  • 4,750 ft
  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S
  • USGS Bandera
  • Green Trails Bandera No. 206

Upcoming Activities

CHS 2 Hike - Mount Defiance

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
This hike starts on the Ira Spring Trail and takes long switchbacks up to Mason
Difficulty: Strenuous
Sun, May 23, 2021
No Prerequisites
3 participants
Registration closes May 20
Seattle Branch

Conditioner Hikes - Little Bandera Mountain

Day Hiking Field trip: Intensive Basic Alpine Climbing Course
An evening jaunt up to Bandera peak
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Wed, May 26, 2021
No Prerequisites
4 participants 1 instructor
Registration closes May 24
Seattle Branch

CHS Tacoma June Hikes - Ira Spring Trail

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
Trip will initially open to Tacoma Branch Conditioning Hiking Students. Trip will open for registration
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Sun, Jun 6, 2021
No Prerequisites
8 participants
Registration opens May 15
Tacoma Branch

CHS 1 Hike - Mason Lake

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
CHS hike led at a CHS 1 pace (1.5-2.0 mph)
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Mon, Jun 7, 2021
No Prerequisites
6 participants
Registration opens May 26
Seattle Branch

Seattle MAC - Hike - Little Bandera Mountain

Youth Youth activity: Mountaineers Adventure Club
A conditioning hike for those interested in backpacking and alpine climbing this summer.
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Thu, Jun 24, 2021
3 participants 0 instructors 1 chaperone
Registration closes Jun 22
Seattle Branch

Day Hike - Ira Spring Trail

Day Hiking Trip
After Hours Conditioning Hike at a Moderate Pace
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Wed, Jun 30, 2021
No Prerequisites
3 participants on waitlist 0 leaders
Registration closes Jun 21
Foothills Branch

CHS 1 Hike - Mount Defiance

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
Go-Getter Hike! Hike the Ira Spring trail, known for its oodles of beargrass and other
Difficulty: Strenuous/Very Strenuous
Sun, Jul 11, 2021
No Prerequisites
6 participants
Registration opens Jun 23
Seattle Branch
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Ira Spring Trail
  • Mason Lake
  • Island Lake
  • Rainbow Lake
  • Rainbow & Island Lakes
  • Bandera Mountain
  • Bandera Mountain (West Peak)
  • Little Bandera Mountain
  • Mount Defiance
  • Mount Defiance & Bandera Mountain
  • Putrid Pete's Peak Trail
  • Putrid Pete's Peak
  • Putrid Pete's Peak & Web Mountain
  • Putrid Pete's Peak & Mount Defiance
  • Putrid Pete's Peak & Mount Defiance Loop
  • Putrid Pete's Peak, Web Mountain & Mount Defiance

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.