Mileage: 4 miles
Elevation Gain/Highest: 2420/4320ft
Map: Green Trails Bandera No 206
Favorite Eats After Hike: Aardvark
7/6/2016 I joined my boyfriend for one of his SAR training hikes after hiking to Mirror Lake earlier in the day. We took the old creek trail to Mason Lake and then came back down the Ira Spring Trail. We headed up Ira Spring until we saw the old trail obscured with branches on our left after a few switchbacks. The trail was fairly steep and mossy, some blowdowns a few scramble up rocks. One good stretch of steep rock and brush after the scree field. At the junction with Ira Spring, we turned left on the muddy and heavily trafficked trail. The bugs were bad so we stayed long enough for one picture and then headed out towards the trail to Bandera and the talus field. It was interesting to see it from the perspective of having been here in April when the scree field was covered with snow and I only made it up so far. The sun was setting and the Snoqualmie Valley was lit up golden. Rainier was a blip on the horizon.
Directions: From Seattle, drive east on I-90 to exit 45. Turn left and cross under the highway, then veer left onto FR-9030. About one mile from the exit, stay left at the fork onto Mason Lake Road, FR-9031. Park in the lot at the end of this road, 3.8 miles from the highway. There is a privy at the TH and expect crowded parking.