June 2015 – Bandera and Mason Lake

I hiked Bandera and Mason lake 3 months ago now. Finally time for the blog post!

The route
The route

Tuesday. June 9, 2015. Hike: Bandera Mountain and Mason Lake. Distance: 9-10 miles. Elevation gain: 3500ish feet. High point: 5240 feet.

Flat even grade
Flat even grade

Another Tuesday off from work, time to hike! I left the city in the morning for a mid morning hike. The last time, and only other time, I hiked Bandera was before the PCT with Jared, Megan, and Allan as a “training hike” for the PCT a year and a half ago. I was excited to see the trail in a different season under no snow this time around.

I park at the Ira Spring Trailhead and head off on the Ira Spring Trail. The lower part of the trail is an easy grade. I see they’re even putting in a log bridge where the worlds tiniest stream crosses the trail, which will make the trail easy easy.

Peeking through the woods
Peeking through the woods
Snack break
Snack break

Switchbacks up.

There is no snow now. Last time I was here 1/3 of the trail was covered in snow and we plowed our way up a winter path. This time I see the real trail. So different!

The boulder field is all boulders which is awesome. I eat my trial sized Omnibar I snagged at REI. Legit snack. I’d buy those.

There are a few people on the trail but not many. It’s midweek and early in the day.

Boulders
Boulders
Trail junction
Trail junction

At the fork for Bandera, I go right toward the peak. Most of the elevation gain is in this short stretch. Up I climb. To the false summit. Then on to the real summit. The real summit is described as “no view” which is hilarious because I can distinctly see Rainier through the trees. Amazing. Great views all around. Short sit break.

Then down. Back to the junction for Mason Lake. Over the little hump and on to the water. I relax for a few minutes.

Summit with "no view"
Summit with “no view”
Summit selfie
Summit selfie

Then back down! Walk/run. Back to Seattle!

Mason Lake
Mason Lake
Views from the top
Views from the top. Rainier on the left. Mason Lake on the right.
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