Bandera Mountain Summit Trail
Bandera Mountain Summit Trail is a 12.2 km heavily trafficked out and back trail in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest that is rated as hard. This trail requires a good bit of climbing and a short scramble near the top, making it perfect for hikers seeking a solid outing. We don’t recommend this trail for beginners, though, as the final summit approach may seem intimidating and the trail can be somewhat easy to lose on the descent. Bring GPs to mitigate this challenge.
The road to the trailhead is potholed, so drive a high-clearance vehicle if you can.
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Route Description for Bandera Mountain Summit Trail
Bandera Mountain is a fun peak to climb, with a bit of scrambling rewarded by panoramic views. While this trail might not be a beginner’s cup of tea, it’s a fun half-day adventure for those who like a little bit of a challenge. Note that the trail can become easy to lose as you descend, so GPS is recommended.
From the Ira Spring Trailhead, hike to the junction with Putrid Pete’s Peak Trail. Take a sharp right here. Cross Mason Creek and stay straight at a junction with a trail to the left. Meander up a relaxed slope, completing another stream crossing before the trail begins to switchback.
Stay right at the next junction, taking a straightforward approach to Little Bandera. Atop Little Bandera, hike along the ridge between the two peaks, hugging the treeline most of the way on a narrowing trail. The final stretch is very rocky, and you’ll cross a boulder field (look for cairns leading the way) before needing to scramble to the peak. Take your time.
Enjoy the view of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness atop Bandera, admiring Island Lake to the north. As you return, remember to stay on the trail that hugs the treeline. If you find you’ve dropped too far down on a thin trail, head back up to the treeline to find the main trail again. Retrace your steps to the trailhead.
Getting to the Bandera Mountain Summit Trail Trailhead
The trailhead for Bandera Mountain Summit Trail is at the end of Mason Lake Road at the Ira Spring Trailhead.
Bandera Mountain Summit Trail Elevation Graph
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Bandera Mountain Summit Trail Reviews
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