Ira Spring Memorial Trail

Garcia, Washington 98025

Ira Spring Memorial Trail

Ira Spring Memorial Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"For many years the Mason Lake trail had a reputation of being steep and mean. In addition, hikers had to negotiate a large boulder field before getting to the lake. Thanks to Ira Spring’s urging, the Forest Service, with help from Volunteers for Outdoor Washington, have closed the old trail and constructed a new trail that avoids those obstacles. This trail is destined to become one of the most popular trails along the I-90 corridor.

The new route provides a more scenic way to lakes within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Having hiked it, I was impressed with the hard work that has gone into the trail, and it is more aesthetically pleasing, with views most of the way. The original trail was built in 1958 so fire crews could reach and battle a forest fire northeast of Mason Lake, and hard-core hikers continued to use the trail."

More Ira Spring Memorial Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades (The Mountaineers Books)
Joan Burton
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"Photographer and trails advocate Ira Spring campaigned for the building of this trail for thirty years, and I am sure he would have loved to have walked the finished trail, which was completed shortly after he passed away. Today you can see for yourself that it was worth the wait and is worthy of his name. The trail takes hikers high above the Snoqualmie valley, with views west on a clear day to Seattle, east toward the pass, and south to a part of the Iron Horse Trail. Children will love the challenge of the steep trail and the reward of Mason Lake, waiting on the other side of Bandera Ridge. They may even want to climb Mount Defiance above the lake." Read more
Best Wildflower Hikes Western Washington (Falcon Guides)
Peter Stekel
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"Motorists making their way over Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 have their eyes glued to the roadway, as they should. But their passengers in springtime should be looking to the north, towards Bandera Mountain, because, even as far away as the interstate, can be seen the bold purple of a field of Fireweed interspersed with the bright cream blossoms of Beargrass and the vibrant orange of Paintbrush. Hikers can enjoy all this glory and more in one of the most striking spring wildflower gardens in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The trail up is a stiff climb, but the rewards are fantastic. Besides all the flowers there are views west to Seattle and beyond to the Olympic Mountains. Across the Snoqualmie Valley is the craggy spire of McClellan Butte, and farther away is the ice- and snow- laden bulk of Mount Rainier." Read more
Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Region (The Mountaineers Books)
Dan A. Nelson
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"Hikers owe an incredible debt of thanks to Ira Spring. This soft-spoken man and his trail-loving photography did more for trail protection in Washington than any other person in hiking history. Ira was a tireless advocate for trails, working both behind the scenes and as one of the most recognizable trails spokesmen in the country. He lobbied Congress, he influenced local land-management decisions, and he introduced several generations of hikers to the wonders of Washington’s trail network through the hiking guide series he created with The Mountaineers Books. It is only fitting that this rehabilitated trail to Mason Lake bears his name. The fact that his namesake trail leads to a beautiful mountain lake is also appropriate, as Ira loved lakes of all kinds and sizes." Read more

Ira Spring Memorial Trail Reviews

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Beautiful hike, challenging but not too hard and awesome lake at the end
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Well defined trail, steep in places. Good views of McClellan Butte, Mt Kent, Humpback Mt, and Mt Rainier. Lake Mason has a few campsites close to the water.
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The FS road to the trail head has 3 washouts that are risky. Half a mile from the trailhead a landslide has placed large trees and boulders in the way and the water is running 8-10 inches deep. Past the trail head and up .5 miles a very large swift water crossing with floating wet logs. The mountain slide has carved out tons of yards of dirt rocks and boulders. The water is 18-20 inches and fast moving. The logs placed for crossing are floating and very slick. two hiking poles or remove your boots and wade. Snow started around 3200 feet and the trail was gone.
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I only took this trail as far as Mason Lake, not to Mount Defiance, and it was mostly straight up (or straight down). It was mid-August and there were still some wildflowers around, and though thunderstorms threatened, we made it through mostly raindrop-free. There are beautiful views of Mount Rainier from the top, and a birds-eye view of I-90. It's a good day hike from Seattle, very easily accessible from the freeway, though make sure you're in shape or prepared to be sore the next day. There were a lot of people on the trail, most of them were planning on camping at Mason Lake or further in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Trail Information

Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
2,100 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Hikable: Late May through October, Best flowers: June through August
North Bend Ranger District
Local Contacts
Green Trails No. 206 Bandera
Local Maps