Snoqualmie Pass, Washington
Ira Spring Trail, Mount Defiance Trail
11.26 mi
Total Elevation Gain
3,969 ft
December 5, 2021

The road to the trailhead from I-90 has a number of potholes to negotiate. Likely doable in a sedan with some careful driving, but I’m glad I have the ground clearance to drive as sloppy as I want. The road had roughly an inch of wet snow that was mostly gone by the time we left in the afternoon.

The area received around 5-6” of fresh powder the day prior, but Ira Springs Trail was well packed all the way to Mason Lake. Taking Mount Defiance Trail past Mason Lake was not as well broken, but the snow wasn’t deep enough to warrant snowshoes. We were the first to summit Mount Defiance since the snowfall, and I regret not packing gaiters for the final push. I would recommend microspikes, poles, and gaiters for these conditions. Seasonal conditions aside the trails are in good shape.

The weather was great, the sun was partially visible for most of the day, and we had amazing views of Baker, Rainier, and the rest of the Cascades. Definitely a good hike that reminded me I’m a little out of shape!

Looking at the forecast, this may have been the last weekend to summit Mount Defiance from Ira Spring Trailhead before the forest road is snowed in for the season.

A view of Mount Rainier from the trail

Mount Rainier

A view of McClellan Butte through the trees

McClellan Butte through the trees

Putrid Pete's Peak (left) and Mount Defiance (right)

Putrid Pete's Peak (left) and Mount Defiance (right)

Echo looking up into the treetops

Pausing for a little bird watching

Trees obscured by low clouds

Early morning cloud cover obscuring the view