This Veterans Day hike brought me to Mailbox Peak, rated as one of the more challenging hikes that are around with a round trip length of about 9.4 miles and an elevation gain of about 4000 feet. Its highest point is about 4822 feet and the views you get are extremely gorgeous.
To get there it’s pretty easy. It’s in the North Bend Area, Snoqualmie Region, and for parking you just gotta hang your Discovery Pass into your windshield or, if you prefer, pay $10 for a day pass. Either way, you wont regret it.
They said that the old trail was the stuff of legends. It inspired quiet a many hikers, potential Rainier climbers and challenged adventurous day hikers alike. With Mother Nature having her share of fun on the old trail as well and therefore quite some injuries and rescues, the Department of Natural Resources eventually created a new trail to the top.
It is still relatively steep, lots of switchbacks as well but, quite a safer way to summit this wonderful Mountain and see one of the worlds most famous mailboxes.
I did it the way one should do it if you are attempting to summit this mountain: Up the old trail and down the new one.
It’s a steep climb almost from the get go, you definitely feel the burn in your legs and if you find a good pace, have some rest here and there you’ll make it to the top just fine.
The trail is marked with its diamonds so you wont get lost and they are good to see while you getting closer to the top up to the moment where the old trail connects with the new one shortly before the bolder field and not too far away, but a gain of 960 feet, from the summit. Remember: if you think you can’t do it, that is usually when you are closest. Just remember you are almost there and the views that await your are breath taking!!
Once you made it across the bolder field, you are only a short, steep climb away from the top and from amazing views onto Mt Rainier, Mt Si and a few others. And make sure to check out what’s in the mailbox, people have found quite amazing and fun things and I’ve seen Toilet paper rolls in there as well….
The way back down is marked clearly if you are doing the new trail. It will be definitely nicer on your knees and joints and you have the peace of mind that you can basically follow a well maintained trail with out having to worry about the markers, and fallen trees/stones….
The switchback make it seem like a longer way but overall it’s about a 4 mile hike down and the closer you get to the parking lot the quieter it gets. You will make your way across some bridges, waterfalls and just overall some great nature… I definitely achieved a peace of mind while hiking down that trail; although I had my “this damn trail can end now and all I want is my car” moments lol. And partially I felt that if I had to stop cause of what ever reason my legs would not have made it all the way down without being like jello lol
I started this adventure of mine around 1030 am and was back at my car shortly after 4 pm. It is definitely a hike I would do again, but in the spring or summer time and maybe even way sooner so I would have an epic sunrise to look at while enjoying a quiet moment at the summit. It would be totally worth it!!