Ira Spring Trail

A moderate/strenuous 6 mile hike with 2,550 ft in total elevation gain. Start on a road turned to trail in a second growth forest, switch to a trail that goes over Bandera ridge and finally drops down to an Mason Lake. Consider continuing on to Island and Rainbow Lakes, hiking to Mount Defiance or Bandera Mountain, or scrambling Putrid Pete's Peak (P3) and Web Mountain.

getting there

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).

on the trail

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).


  • 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.

Information FOr leaders

Permit information

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.

  • 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

Day Hike - Mount Defiance

Day Hiking Trip
The views from Mt Defiance on a clear day are stunning. Even on a cloudy/hazy
Difficulty: Strenuous
Wed, Sep 25, 2019
No Prerequisites
11 participants
Registration closes Sep 23
Foothills 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.

  • 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
  • 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

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