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Trip Report    

Day Hike - Mount Defiance

Great flowers, bad bugs.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Route in good condition all the way from the Ira Spring TH past Mason Lake up to the summit of Defiance.  No issues.

Our group of four did the classic day hike route to the summit of Mt Defiance, starting at the Ira Spring trailhead and passing by Mason Lake. 

We arrived at the trailhead at 7:30am and took the next to last available spot in the parking lot. We stopped at Mason Lake for  a brief break and to pump water.  While there we started to notice some bugs, but not too bad.  The bugs got worse during the hike to Defiance, making it unpleasant to stop for breaks.  One member of our party opted to wear a bug net as we hiked.

The views and wildflowers were magnificent after  we broke out of the trees and entered the wide open south face of Defiance.  What a unique experience to be looking down at  McClellan Butte.  The flower show continued along the steep boot path that leads to the summit.  The bugs on the summit were very bad, so we cut our lunch break short and had a brief "second lunch" at Mason Lake again on the way out.

Though our early start meant we had the trail mostly to ourselves on the way in, on the way out is was a different story.  We passed a near continuous stream of people (many with dogs, which was nice IMO) on their way to Mason Lake.  Within our group we did a lottery to guess how far the row of parked cars would be along the side of the road that leads  to the Ira Spring TH.  Using our car's odometer we found that the string of parked cars was 1/3 mile long.

We left the Issaquah P&R at 6:30am and returned at 2:30pm.  This is a relatively early start for a local I-90 hike but it really paid off in terms of avoiding the crowds and the peak of the afternoon heat.