Note, there is a new trail [just built] to Mason Lakes. The new trail is the same distance as the old trail (~2.5 miles) and starts from the same trailhead. It leads more over to Bandera Mountain then contours back toward the old trail at the saddle between Defiance and Bandera. The new trail is very nice. I took the old trail on the way down and I can definitely aver that the new trail is the way to go. The old trail is not recommended. It is heavily windfallen, rooted, and needlessly crosses a bothersome boulder field. You might make a note of this new trail on the main page and/or on your "Mason Lakes #1038 Approach" route page.