Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 47.43527°N / 121.56447°W
Additional Information GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map
Additional Information County: King
Additional Information Elevation: 5584 ft / 1702 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Mt. Defiance and Lake Kulla...
Mount Defiance Seen From Pratt Mountain

Mount Defiance is one of the highest hiking peaks along the I-90 corridor. With over 1400 feet of prominence, it has a nice pronounced summit. For those that started with Mount Si and Mailbox Peak, this is a good way of branching out. There are many possible routes to reach the summit but the most popular way is the circuitous Ira Spring trail. This trail which leads up to Mason Lake was dedicated in 2003 to the much-loved hiker, photographer, guidebook coauthor, and conservationist Ira Spring.

Mason Lake from the trail....
Mason Lake In April

Being a hiker's peak, Mt. Defiance is climbed mostly during the summer months. However, road 9031 to the Mason Lake trailhead remains open during the winter and ascents are possible year-round. I have been up on the summit in waist deep snow so it is possible. Additionally, access to Mount Defiance via the Pratt Lake trail is available any time of year as well. Views from the summit of Lake Kulla Kulla and Kaleetan Peak make the effort worthwhile.

Wild Flowers
Open Slopes Near The Summit

Route Map

Getting There

Mason Lake Trailhead

From Seattle, take I-90 E to exit 45. Cross over the freeway and take road 9030 to a junction about 1 mile down the road. Follow road 9031 to the left for another 3 miles until the trailhead is reached at the end of the road.

Good parking lot with toilets available.

View from Defiance
Lake Kulla Kulla Seen From The Summit

Pratt Lake Trailhead

From Seattle, take I-90 east to exit 47 and then cross over the freeway. Take a left and the trailhead will be .25 miles up on the right.

Good parking lot with toilets available.


Ira Spring / Mason Lake
This is the main standard route on the mountain. The trail is well graded as it goes up to Mason Lake and a little steeper thereafter. It's possible to combine this peak with nearby Bandera since they primarily share the same trail. Please see the route page.

Pratt Lake
This is the longest approach to reach the summit, although it has the added draw of passing several lakes before the final approach to the mountain. Please see the route page.

Old Defiance Trail
This is the most direct route on the mountain with the shortest amount of distance. Unfortunately in recent years, this old fishermans trail has become rather overgrown in a couple of spots. It's still possible to follow though for those that don't mind a bit of bushwhaking and a few fallen logs. Please see the route page.

P3 Traverse
This route begins with the summit of P3 and has several possible descent routes. Here is a trip report which describes the route.

Nearing Defiance
Approaching Defiance From Putrid Pete's Peak

When To Climb / Red Tape

All year, depending on avalanche conditions, but July through October are best. If climbing in winter conditions please check NWAC for current avalanche conditions.

A Northwest Forest Pass required to park at the trailhead.


Camping is allowed under the Alpine Lakes Wilderness regulations and Mason Lake has several nice sites, however, Defiance is a day-climb.

Trip Reports From NWH

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-3 of 3

wildstar - Feb 19, 2007 10:45 pm - Hasn't voted

Road 9031 is closed

As of Feb 19, 2007 most of road 9031 is closed because the road is washed out.


mbgriffi - Jul 10, 2007 7:55 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Road 9031 is closed

The Road is open to Mason Lake Trailhead, still closed up to Talapus


wildstar - Jul 15, 2008 9:22 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Road 9031 is closed

Thanks, I just discovered that same fact last week. I should have posted. Thanks again.

Viewing: 1-3 of 3



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.