West Bandera Mtn (Pt 5157) (Jul 2, 2017)

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west_bandera_mtn_coverConditions: Day Hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Bandera
Area: North Bend, WA
Reference: Day Hiking Snoqualmie Region
Stats: 6.99mi, 2971' gain (round trip)

I was sick as a dog for a couple of weeks. I got a cold that clocked me good for two solid weeks. Finally...I was feeling like I was on the mend. It was a holiday weekend...I HAD to get out for a hike. Summer is here!

I had seen some photos of the Bandera Mtn area and the beargrass looked like it was going mad. Dani was up for a trip but wanted to stay close to town. I suggested Bandera and she was game. I figured at some point that I'd need to bail and I'd let her head on up to the top without me.

We got an early start meeting at our local P&R at 6:30am. We were at the Ira Spring TH at about 7am and good golly...it was full! We ended up parking about 2/10 of a mile down the road. There was a constant stream of cars pulling up after us. We put the packs on and headed up the trail...hiking up the trail with a few hundred of our closest friends. In all honesty...we knew the trail would be busy (that's why we started early). So if you expect and plan for crowds...it bothers you less. Just don't expect solitude on the trail. It was mobbed.

We hiked up in the trees along the old road to the trail junction (marked). Left...up the well maintained trail...was Mason Lake. That's were most people went. Straight uphill was West Bandera or at least the way over there. Lots of people headed up there too. A steady stream. The "trail" goes straight uphill. It is much more eroded looking than when I was there a few years ago.

The lungs held up pretty well. I was huffing and puffing but thankfully I made it. We found a couple of nice rocks and stopped for lunch. There were a fair number of people scattered among the rocks near the top (maybe 20-30 people) but the area did a fair job of dispersing them. After a nice long lunch it was time to head down.

We got back down to the car around 3pm. Cars were everywhere. I had a goal...count the cars. I counted 209 cars within a mile of the trailhead. Crazy!
West Bandera Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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