Hike: Ira Spring Trail
The Ira Spring Trail was created less than 10 years ago as a tribute to a man who “guided” many of us on trails through his writings and books. The trail created a more scenic and saner way to get to Mason Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
I call this hike classic because it has all my favorite elements: good trail, views on many turns, wildflowers, varying terrain, and a cool lake destination.
After complaining for many months about hiking in the rain or fog, today we had to worry about extreme heat. We left Seattle a little after 5:30 am to avoid scorching sun and crowds and were rewarded with shade and cool breezes the entire hike. We also had the trail to ourselves on the way in except for a few backpackers returning from an overnight stay.
The trail opened up in a number of places for views of Mt Rainier as well as meadows of wildflowers and hillsides of boulders.
The trail climbs steadily but gains enough elevation to get some bigger vistas of Mt Rainier and the “lesser” peaks around it.
After reaching the high spot with the Rainier view, the trail descends steeply to Mason Lake. We took a quick break here for snacks and water and the headed back down the trail to get out before the heat of the day. We got back to our car as most hikers were putting on their boots. It was before noon; our hike was complete, and we could now head home for the next activity on a day with abnormally high temperature – a pitcher of ice tea and an afternoon siesta.