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Bandera Mountain, WA

Bandera Mountain is located on the north side of I-90 near exit 45. The trail up the mountain starts at the end of road 9031 at an elevation of 2200 feet. The trail up to the summit of Bendera Mountain is 3.5 miles in length with an elevation gain of 3040 feet for a final elevation of 5240 feet.

The last 1.5 miles of the trail gains 1800 feet by cutting straight up the mountain on a narrow path (2 feet in most places). Some suggest that the best views are at 5050 feet and therefore there is no need to hike the additional190 feet of elevation gain to reach the top. I disagree.

(September 14, 2002; up-2:20, down-1:30)

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From right to left: McClellan Butte, Mt. Kent, Mt. Gardner. A close up of McCellan Butte (5162 feet) [1, 2]. A close up of Mt. Kent (5087 feet) [1]
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A close up of Mt. Gardner (4453 feet). Our first glimpse of Mt. Rainier (14,410 feet). This picture and the next one give some perspective on how steep the hike is to the top of Bandera Mountain.
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For those of you that are used to nice wide trails it may surprise you to learn that the rock my foot is on is the trail. I believe this is some variety of flower called Paintbrush. This particular flower may be Giant Red Paintbrush.
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Another look at Mt. Rainier (14,410 feet). I believe this is a Pika, also called a Rock Rabbit. They live in Talus slopes in the mountains collecting leaves and other plant parts to eat thoughtout the winter. Pikas do not hybernate over the winter. Pikas have no tail.
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The person in this picture gives excellent perspective on our hight above I-90, the size of the rocks around us, and the distance traveled. This picture of Celia stand on the western ridge up to Bandera Mountain is a striking example how how quickly the terrain falls off all around us. A helicopter, near the center of the picture, flying down the valley below us.
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Manson Lake, north west of Bandera Mountain. A view, looking west, from the top of Bandera Mountain (5240 feet). That is I-90 snaking through the valley, about 3700 feet below.
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Another view from the top of Bandera Mountain. Behind me are the same mountain peaks seen in the first picture from this hike. However, I'm now sitting 78 feet above McCellan Butte, 153 above Mt. Kent, and 787 feet above Mt. Gardner. Mt. Rainier in the back ground, 9170 feet above me! Yet another view from the top of Bandera Mountain. This one is looking north east. Pratt Mountain can been seen in the background.

Click on a thumbnail above to see a larger version of the picture.

The pictures in this gallery were taken with a Sony DCR-PC100 1-mega pixel camera. Email me if you would like a higher resolution version of any of these pictures.