Home > Washington > Mount Defiance
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Agency:USDA Forest Service
Location:East of North Bend, Washington in the I-90 corridor.
Difficulty:More Difficult
Distance:8 miles (round trip)
High Point:5,584 feet
Updated:May 2005
Season:Spring, summer and fall


From Mason Lake, you continue past the lake, then turn left at the junction. Head up a ridgeline through trees, with slight tree-inhibited views to the lake basin on the right. Trail is little more than a steep rut as it heads up the north slope of Mt. Defiance to the left. A series of short, gnarly switchbacks leads to another steep ridge where you switch to south-facing slopes. This is where the legs really start to feel the burn.

Finally you come out into the open and traverse steep south slope of Mt. Definance for about 1 mile. Before the main trail turns right and downhill (contining down to sparsely visited Thompson Lake), the climbers route to Defiance heads uphill to the right. The conclusion to the summit is about 1/2 mile, the steepest part of the hike by far. Views are most rewarding however, as when you reach the top you can see a long distance to the north on a clear day. You can also see eastward down to Mason and Kulla Kulla lakes.

Remind me never to hike this one again without bringing a water filter. Plentiful water along the trail and I wanted to drink it.


From Seattle take Interstate 90 and get off at Exit 45 for Forest Service Road No. 9030. Go over the freeway (left) and turn left onto Road 9030 to a split, about one mile. Continue straight ahead on unpaved Road 9031 to the parking area and trailhead for Ira Spring Trail No. 1038.


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