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14Jul18 Joe from Montana!! You left your dog bag in our car!

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike with stunning views, but....the mosquitos were a horrible annoyance. Wear bug spray and long sleeves- we were constantly swarmed by mosquitos the last 1.5 miles up. Other than the bugs, it was a beautiful hike with a fun final ascent to the peak.

Preparation for this trail: StairMaster!
This trailhead was easy to find. Waze took us right to the parking area, off of Skyline Drive. Saying this hike is uphill is an understatement, but the view at the top is amazing and quite a reward. If you are into geocaching, there is a 3/3 about half way up the trail. We found it as a reward on the way down.
We completed the mile up and back route - 1 hour up, and 40 minutes down, for us.
Take water. Don't go on the trail after a rain, for the sake of the trail and you. Trail is moderately traveled by the fit and those working on it.

Amazing 360 degree views at the top!
Great workout...with the 3000+ elevation gain in just 1.3 Miles...it was a challenge-worth the view! However, a bit tough on the knees coming down!
Worth the effort!!

Excellent hike with an amazing view at the top on a clear day!! Took me 2 hours and 45 minutes up with my dog needing breaks from the heat toward the top. The old trail up was pleasantly difficult and hard to find the trail toward the top. Diamond markers helps keep you on track thank goodness. I took the new trail down with many switch backs. That portion alone was 5.3 miles. I think this hike is longer than what is stated but wonderful none the less.

Longer than expected but a great workout. The boulders were probably my favorite part, sooo much fun to scramble up! TONS of bugs though.

hiking
3 days ago

Last bit of snow still clinging to the peaks but the sunny weekend led to amazing views. Last 1/3 of the hike is a pretty intense loose rock trail culminating in a bit of a scramble but it was worth it!

I loved this hike minus the very rocky trail most of the time. A small incline going in. Not hard at all. Must follow the rock arrow formation and two red ribbon tags on the trees to get to the falls though. This hike took about 5-6 hours in and out.

Went on 7/15/18 to catch the sunrise! First ones up there and totally worth it, the route we took was about 7.8 miles, went up the summer route and came down the winter side (what I would recommend). Get there early, before 8:30 at least. Hard hike but worth it, once you get to the Meadows the hardest parts are behind you!

My friend and I decided to do this loop yesterday. We missed the trail head (labelled "Cold Creek" off to the left), and started a few miles further up the road, just past the Mt. Catherine marker (1348). It was unclear to us that the gravel road is actually a significant part of the loop, so we got our wires crossed. There was one hairy part of the road that prevented most smaller cars from getting up the road. You need an SUV or something with clearance to get over this part.

Anyway, it definitely would have been helpful to have a working GPS map. We ended up starting the loop in a counter-clockwise direction. This part of the trail was fine.
Had we started where we were supposed to, I'm sure we would have quickly aborted. I say this because this is the section of trail we ended the hike with, and it was significantly overgrown with blackberry and raspberry bushes. Not well maintained at all. Several times we almost lost the trail before finding it again. This continues for almost two miles until you reach the junction to Mirror Lake. We did take a detour down that way, but there didn't seem to be any good lake access in the spots we were at (though we didn't search very far).

The rest of the trail was in good shape and not difficult. We didn't go to either of the peaks. I'd recommend doing just this part of it and skipping the full loop. That last part (i.e. the actual trail head entrance) really sucked. I even broke a pole it was so steep in places!

One of my favorites of the pass... offers quite a bit of variety and steep terrain. Best part is that it is very lightly travelled, the Alpental parking lot is typically full but that is all for Snow Lake. Only a handful goes for the Snowqualmie Mountain / Guye Peak trail.

hiking
4 days ago

This is an up and down. We did not do the boot cut route. The hike was good up to the sign splitting to 1313.3 to the beacon. The route to the beacon was full of logs blocking the trail. The view from the top was quite pretty.

trail running
5 days ago

I went up the new trail and down the old trail. I packed light and alternated between jogging and “striding out“ on the steep sections. It took me 1 hour 40 minutes to the top. Here’s what I learned:

Top 10 tips hikers need to know for Mailbox Peak:

1. Parking is a nightmare. Instead of battling for a parking space, park 10 mins down the road at Twin Falls Middle School. Bring $2.75 (each way, so $5.50 total) or your Orca card to pay the fare. There is a sandwich board where to stand for the shuttle, which comes ever 10-15 minutes. You can’t miss it, and it beats the hassle of parking.

Note: there are pit toilets at the parking lot once you get dropped off from the shuttle and you walk uphill. Please close the lid of the toilet, guys.

2. Once dropped off by the shuttle, walk up the paved hill until you get to a gate across a gravel road (on your left). Just look for the big gate/bar across the road... That is the start of the trail. Follow this gravel road uphill until you get to the trailhead. (You’ll see a sign) Head left, and walk uphill until you get to the top!

Note: these directions are for the “new trail.“ If you want the “old trail,” keep going up this gravel road until you come to another sign on your left that indicates Mailbox Peak. Head left and up!

3. Most important tip: bring water. Seriously bring LOTS of water. There are no creeks, streams, or lakes. I jogged/fast-walked the entire thing, so I wasn’t hiking long, so I thought I could get away with just 2 liters. I STILL ran out of water 1/2 way down. Sure I survived, but I felt pretty gross driving back. Recommendation: bring a gallon of water. Yes it’s an obscene amount, but you will thank me. You will have a difficult time choking down that much water, so sprinkle some Kool-Aid powder or power aid mixture to give you an incentive to drink it.

4. Mailbox at the top: Bring a sticker for the mailbox. Don’t be that guy who puts food in the mailbox. That’s why there are flies everywhere—from the person that day who put a box of raisins to cook in the mailbox.

5. Old trail? Or new trail? Unless you are in marathon running shape, do NOT take the old trail up OR down. The old trail is very technical with lots of roots. Seriously you can’t walk 12 inches without getting your foot caught on a root, which is exhausting (or challenging!).

Recommendation: take the “new trail.” The volunteers who put the new trail together did an absolutely INCREDIBLE job with it. It’s smooth, rolling, and easy to pass people (double wide!). You will thank me! But if you choose the old trail, unless you run Spartan races continuously, you will tell yourself “We should’ve listened to that review on AllTrails.”)

6. Sunscreen, yes or no? Virtually the entire trail is shaded, which is perfect for summer hiking. Up until the last part, when you hop out onto the exposed rock, only then do you start to bake. Recommendation: right before you come out of the trees, slather up. Seriously the sun is 27,000,000°F and your dreams of your “light sunburn turning into a tan” is only an illusion.

7. Beer at the top? Yes, getting to the summit is exhilarating, but celebrating by drinking a diuretic is the last thing you want to do to your body. Remember, when you’re at the top you are only 50% done with the hike. 90% of mountaineering accidents happen on the way DOWN, when fatigue is setting in and gravity is pulling you down. You need to be on your A-game going downhill, not buzzed. Save the beer for when you get home, and even then re-hydrate. If you insist on sipping a beer at the top, just know there are a lot of people laughing at your pretentious hipster self.

8. 10 Essentials: bring them. From a first aid kit (including mole skin) to a flashlight. The only thing: bug repellent isn’t really necessary. There is no standing water nearby, and odds are when you are sitting up on the summit, away from the mailbox, there will be a slight breeze to keep the bugs away.

Tip: trekking poles will save your knees if you are hiking. Running? They will get in the way.

9. Save cell phone battery life: Using the All Trails app to record your hike, right after you press “record“ (at the start of your hike of course) switch your phone into airplane mode. This will save your battery and it will still be tracking your GPS signal. Tested on a very well-used battery on an iPhone 6s, and still had 80% battery life after the entire hike.

10. Dogs: there are quite a few. I love seeing them. But please if you’re a dog owner, bring bags for the dog poo and pack it out. Don’t kick the poop off the trail into the bushes... I know it’s “natural“ and there are a lot of animals that poop in the woods, but we can still smell it fermenting—especially after 100 dogs/day go on the trail. Plus dog poop has a very distinct odor that tends to ruin the moment. And of course, lots of water for doggo!

This is a fantastic hike that every WA hiker must go on.

-Beau Chevassus

Stunning views! Start early (we arrived 0645 and had plenty of spaces in parking lot) and bring mosquito netting/hat, bugs didn’t bite but they were fierce and numerous! Swim in Mason on way down was fantastic.

It was a beautiful hike. But for dog owners beware of the rocks that could be too hot for your dogs paws.

hiking
5 days ago

Fantastic hike! The route I took was about 7.5 miles round trip. This was scrambling up all the boulders for the last 1/4 + mile. Found out later there’s a slightly longer route that included small amounts of snow that avoids the boulder rock climb.
I went at an aggressive speed and reached the lookout in 1 hour 44 min. It is ALL uphill to the top so on the way down the knees wouldn’t let me run all the way down. Took almost as long to return to base as it did to get up. Views are absolutely worth it and I WILL return.
Only outhouse I saw was at the trailhead. Also.,.. must use bug repellent!!!!

hiking
5 days ago

Okkkkk . . Need help . . We did not summit. Went to Melakwa Lake. There is boot path on the west side of Melakwa and on the east side of Upper Melakwa and it continues up the valley to the right shoulder of Kaleetan Peak. Couple of questions . . Is there another boot path that approaches the peak from the west side? If so, was it by the “toilet” Sign just before you get to Melakwa Lake? Anddd . . Is there a boot path to the summit going up the valley past Upper Melakwa Lake? We got to 5,220 ft at the eastern base of Kaleetan and turned around. See pic. Wildflowers are out . .I don’t think this trail has a great deal of wildflowers. Crazy scenic hike . . Highly recommend it. Snowshoe Falls along with Melakwa and Upper Melakwa Lake. There are No directional signs at Melakwa Lake. Very easy to get “lost.”

Beautiful views. Beautiful trail. Lots of wild flowers and wild life. I founded it harder than anticipated. But we’ll worth the views at the top

Perfect conditions to head up, tons of blooming wildflowers also as others have said that last mile wow! Bugs at the top so bring bug spray and don’t forget to sign the summit register

Impossible to find. Directions are terrible.

We did the loop and loved it! Wonderful views at the top! Very challenging!

Parking is very limited unless you arrive there very early like 6:30 am and the trail is not difficult

Be a man, hit the ridgeline outside the trail and enjoy the bouldering experience. The valley is like a jungle gym for climbers! If you choose the boulders, watch your step, some of the rocks are unstable.

9 days ago

New #1 hike probably for a while! Clear path to peak without having to go through snow, unparalleled views

One of the best trails in the area, beautiful 360 degree view. Last starch is pretty hard. It is more than 13 miles loop but not sure why it says 8.2 miles.

It is good challenging trail.

Last mile is super steep but the rest is just a steady uphill. Beautiful views!

hiking
11 days ago

Awesome, challenging hike.. however, AllTrails continues to screw up the miles for trails. They put down 7.2! Yeah, my ass! Try 10.0! Everyone I talked to on it said their GPS showed 4.8-5 at the top. Almost a 3 mile difference. Make sure to check WTA, they do seem more accurate. Only way I trust AllTrails is if they line up with a few other apps.

hiking
11 days ago

In the beginning, it was flat. But then, you hit the John Wayne trail, and it's all uphill from there. There are certain parts where it feels like you are scaling the mountain. The trail is about a foot wide until you reach a fire road, where the width switches from super wide to about a foot. The path is very over grown, as it felt like sometimes we were making our own trail. Granted, we never encountered anyone else on the trail either. The hike took very experienced cross country runners 4 hours; and honestly it wasn't totally worth it. Yes, it is very pretty, but it is so difficult that the payout was not all that rewarding. Also, the trail is about 6.7 miles, not 5.9 (just warning). Very sketchy and not likely to do again.

Not a bad trail but be ready for a climb. Also, both lakes were still frozen over, but melting. There was plenty of snow from snow lake, onwards. Better have a map and compass, but it’s worth the view!

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