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I really enjoyed this hike. We read all the reviews and tried to arrive early - but breakfast, coffee, packing picnic - left Bellevue around 1045, no traffic, got the one spot left. It is $5 for parking unless you have a pass. There was an outhouse in parking lot.

Read the signs, we ended up going on some other trail. Not a big deal but was about 0.5-1 mile warmup. I am in decent shape, take 6 flights a day to get to my car at train - workout 1-2 times a week. I was winded on the way up. I think it took us about 2 hours - really really is a trail w a lot of rocks and roots. Starving by the time we got to the lake. It was so beautiful. Glad I brought aqua socks to walk in the water. We had a nice picnic and hung out for an hour or so then headed down. Going down was quick but really felt it in my knees. A lot of dogs and an owner that didn’t pick up after a big dog. Only crossed paths with 20 people ish, we went on a Friday. I came prepared w bug spray but not a problem at all - THANK goodness. Def recommend, great for a day trip out of the city

hiking
12 hours ago

This was a beautiful hike. We went Saturday morning around 10:30/11 a.m. The lot was full but there was parking on the street that wasn’t far. There are a lot of rocks on this trail so be ready. The lake was gorgeous. We put our feet in the water but that was all we could handle as it was very cold.

hiking
13 hours ago

Great workout to get to the top, but the lake view was amazing!

hiking
13 hours ago

Awesome hike and beautiful lake!

Great hike

Great hike. There are many switchbacks for the first two thirds of this hike that will really test out your thighs, and much of the trail is rocky with plenty of tree roots to dodge. It's all worth it, though, once you reach the lake. Hiked on a Wednesday, arrived to an empty parking lot at the trailhead at 7am. We took our time on the switchbacks and were at the lake by 9:30-10am. Started to get plenty of people showing up by noon, with the trail practically a downtown Seattle sidewalk worth of foot traffic on the way back down. Arrive early.

So fun! Beautiful lake!

A nice mix of sun and shade with lots of wildflowers and ridgeline views. Don't be fooled by the easy start... the incline gets much steeper once you turn the corner! The constant incline is met by gorgeous views along the way and at the lake. Don't forget bug spray!

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

First time ever doing this trail and I loved it. Did it today July 18th. Started at 6am and got back around 1. Went to the lake which was amazing. Got some good photos as the fog was going away. Then turned around and took the Bandera Mountain trail. Don’t know if I made it completely to the top but I had to climb three or four rock bolder areas. That was a little hard but worth it. I even took my dog even though some reviews on here and the Washington trail site said not to because of the rocky areas. But my dog had no issues except with some big rocks but I just helped her out. If you do this trail, try doing both and go early.

hiking
3 days ago

Hike up was beautiful. Moderate difficulty is a good description. Get there early. We parked at 630am and shared the entire walk up with one other person (and a quick bear sighting). On the way down we passed a ton of people. Parking lot was filled with people circling for spots at 12. Beautiful views at the top!

Great hike! Few bugs. Moderate incline and lots of shade. Great views of Mt Rainier. Nice lake to play in. I’d give it 4.5 stars. Snow Lake is actually prettier. Toilets at the trailhead :)

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
4 days ago

Did this hike yesterday! So enjoyable. I arrived around 7:30, I was one of three cars on the Monday morning. It felt like I had the trail all to myself for most of my ascent up. It was only until the last half of my lake loop and my descent down the trail, did I actually start to see more people and groups.

Seems to get packed quickly the later in the day it gets. I can’t imagine the traffic on a weekend. I was thankful that I wore my most water resistant boots. Some casual stream crossing, water fall gazing, and splashing around was well worth it. The trail was very well maintained and I personally enjoyed the mixture of man made bridges / stairs in contrast to the occasional array of rocks and stones.

backpacking
4 days ago

Great little backpacking trip. The route is varied and fun. The first half of the hike is pretty standard uphill slog, broken up by some very neat views, including a long wooden bridge and multiple water falls. There are some technical elements to the 2nd half of the hike, as you descend into the basin, which makes it more fun and challenging. Overall the hike was pretty easy when broken up into a 2 day backpacking trip.

There's no evidence of snow anywhere on the trail and it is nice and warm as of this writing. Take a swim in the lake, it is well worth it.

Hiked today and it was gorgeous. I got there at about 7-7:30 and there weren't too many people there, but tons of people got there around 9 or so. Multiple waterfalls and incredible lake at the top. Definitely recommend hiking shoes if you have them. There's lots of walking on rocks, wet rocks, and over creeks. Also, don't forget to pay for parking or have a pass.

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!

hiking
6 days ago

Arrived around 8am Sat morning and snagged the last parking spot. Small lot for such a popular spot. Apparently there's parking in the campground across the way. There are bathrooms at the TH. So just FYI...I found this a moderate ++ hike for me...I'm 70. Took me some time to get thru the rocky section mostly going up but coming down was really hard on my knees. Lots of tree roots and wet rock surfaces to maneuver. OK...enough. The trees are wonderful. awesome views, the smell of the forest, the waterfalls and the lake at the top with some lingering snow on the slope. All beautiful!!

Summer 2017.
Headed up after lunch on a week day to avoid the crowds. Solid hike and great lake. The biting flies were awful though and no amount of bug spray could keep them away for long.

hiking
6 days ago

The view is worth it. Small parking - must get early or after 2PM.

hiking
6 days ago

Such a beautiful and relatively easy trail. Went on it in May and there was still snow up at the lake. The trail itself is beautifully routed through the lush forest with multiple views of small waterfalls and grand views once you reach the portion of the switch backs. Be careful when walking on the log stairs as your foot may slip as mine did and you’ll take a log to the knee. But sore knee aside, this lake was truly breathtaking and the scenic drive out to it also matched in its beauty. You will need to purchase a North Forrest Park Pass prior to going as a heads up.

I went here this morning @7:30am and took about 5 hours to get done hiking lol I'm out of shape that's why it took a long time, but it was worth it to be done! I saw very beautiful views and nature!! Highly recommended to see mason lake! btw please go early in the morning so you don't park the alley in the road. And you will need a northwest pass for sure. :)

trail running
7 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

Hiked 7/918 with three other gals!
Drove for a little over a mile on a fairly "gravelly" path and arrived around 1:40 PM then had to get a day permit/pass for $5.00. There are a fair amount of switchbacks and can be jaggedy, which I like. There are two old bridges above the streams with reconstruction at the trail at 3/4 of the trail. Then Arrived at Talapa lake at 2:40 with a lot of breaks and photos ♡ I can easily say an enjoyable hike for beginners who want to push themselves with the elevation.

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.

hiking
7 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!!!!

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

8 days ago

beautiful view

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