I hiked from the Mason Lake trailhead to first peak of Bandera Mountain. Then I followed the bootpath across the ridge to the second Bandera Mountain peak (the higher of the two), I found this path kind of hard to follow at times but the route was obvious since I just followed the ridge. I'm glad I continued to the second peak, 55 Hikes Around Snoqualmie Pass: Mountains to Sound Greenway says people don't usually bother and I don't see why, I did have to scramble a little, but mostly it was an easy walk though beautiful territory and great views to the north and south. The second peak of Bandera Mountain was very satisfying, I like being able to sit on the very tip-top of a mountain.I went cross-country down the north face of the ridge between the two Bandera Mountain peaks (as described in Cascade Alpine Guide: Climbing and High Routes: Vol 1 - Columbia River to Stevens Pass) and headed for Island Lake. I found keeping a bit right of the creek in the ravine the easiest (although it was steep and tough on my knees). There are some little ponds in here, and meadows, forest, and talus, very pretty. This might be better to do on snowshoes.From Island Lake I pushed though brush to Rainbow lake, this was really brushy, I may have missed a trail that I could have followed. From Rainbow Lake I took the trail back to the Mason Lake trailhead.Took about 6 hours.
Trip type: scramble/hike
USGS quad: Bandera
In: South Fork Snoqualmie Drainage, Alpine Lakes Wilderness