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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!

Worth the effort for the stunning lake! Wonderful for water dogs, many places for them to cool off along the trail. Trail is dry and snow free now, wildflowers our but not too numerous. Steep and rocky the last 1/3 or so. Camp a night at the lake if you can. MOSQUITOS bring spray and stay in the breeze at the lake

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.

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.

hiking
4 days ago

This was such a spectacular hike—nothing but breathtaking views from start to finish. We arrived at the trailhead at 10:30 am on July 15, were able to park on the road just outside of the parking lot. It was full but the early-morning hikers were on their way out, freeing up some space. It was 80 degrees and HOT! Went through a gallon and a half of water and stopped plenty of times throughout the hike (was great for taking in the view, too). We saw a lot of goats, some grouse too. As others have said, still a few stretches of snow but nothing you can’t cover with hiking boots. We brought YakTraks just in case and didn’t end up using them. We got back around 4:30, but could have made it quicker if it was cooler outside. This was our favorite hike we’ve done so far because it was as beautiful as it was challenging. Might even top Maple Loop in our book!

Info for first-time visitors:
-Our Honda Civic made it to the trailhead without issue. It was a dry, sunny day—not sure what it would have been like with mud, definitely wouldn’t have made it in snow.
-You’re in the sun a majority of the hike. Wear sunscreen and reapply like crazy.
-Bring your bug spray.
-The trail gets harder to follow once you’re in the basin (like you will have to navigate around/over some rocks, the trail isn’t clear-cut). Look for the cairns and you won’t get lost.
-Don’t forget to look up! We saw a 10 goats during this hike, including babies.

Such a beautiful hike. I thought the waterfall was called Snowshoe Falls? The wildflowers will be in full bloom by 7/20. But there are other trials with much more wildflowers than this trial. Snowshoe Falls is great. Both Upper Melakwa and Melakwa Lake are picture perfect alpine lakes. The bugs just came out this week . . soooo it’s time to start bringing the bug spray. There is snow past Upper Melakwa to the pass.

beautiful lake! i even jumped in. I'd say its more like 9 miles. it took us 5 hours to hike there and back, not including the break at the lake. pretty gradual and lots of sun so wear sunscreen!

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. :)

hiking
5 days ago

Hiked Friday 13th. We foolishly left our video camera and tripod at the trailhead with all of our family vacation videos on it. We were able to do the entire loop starting clockwise with just hiking boots. Had to be careful along a few snow fields but it was truly amazing. I’m 47 and not in the best shape... it took us 5 hours with lunch at the summit. The husband and teen daughters had to wait for me slowly walking uphill but I did fine on the downhill. It was the best family hike ever, except for losing our prized footage on the camera. Please email me if you found it.... we would be so appreciative. We didn’t realize it was gone until we reached Mr Ranier NP today. :0( Wendyteach@yahoo.com

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

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.

Awesome hike!! Sarts off moderate and increases in steepness throughout the hike towards Melakwa lake. I managed with regular running sneakers but it would have been more comfortable during the rocky portions with hiking shoes. Made it up to the lake in 3 hours with a lot of rest stops and took 2.5 hours to get back down. BRING A SWIMSUIT AND A TOWEL so you can take a quick dip!! We went into the water for literally 10 seconds because it was so cold but it was an amazing experience. We were lucky and didn't experience any mosquitos at the lake.

great hike!!! did in 1 day....

on Maple Pass Trail

hiking
6 days ago

Today (7/12/18) I completed the loop going clockwise. It was a totally spectacular hike! I first encountered snow on the trail roughly 1.8 miles from the trailhead. Once I reached the ridge there were more and much larger snowfields. I brought crampons with me, but I never needed them. My poles were enough to help provide stability (with careful footing). The views were some of the best I’ve ever experienced and will definitely go on this hike again when I am in the area.

Legitimately my favorite day hike to date.

Amazing view! Steep inclines at parts on the way up, but so rewarding with the view

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

Brought my pup and two friends here on fourth of July. we left Seattle around 6:30 and arrived to full parking lot- still found a spot though and had a great great hike. we did the loop back which is very steep and only relatively maintained..but AWESOME with hardly any people. download the map and use your GPS to find your way it's pretty obvious. the one kinda tricky part was at the boulder field- stick to the right of it heading towards the creek. By the time we got back down there were cars for a mile down the road and the main trail seemed packed.

I am not in the best shape and this trail definitely was hard for me. It took me 2.5 hours to get up and approx the same to get down. The trail is up hill all the time. The first 1.5 mile is less steep and then the rest of the trail is steeper mostly. Only the last 0.4 or so mile is downhill to the lake. Based on my tracker the trail to the lake Mason is about 7 miles round trip, there and back. Discovery Pass is NOT valid on this trail. I got a ticket! You can buy a pass online for $5 in advance and display a print out.

It’s very crowded. We arrived at 9:30am and took the last spot at the parking lot - just lucky. Lots of cars were parked on the side of the road already, which is very narrow. The only way to turn around with all the cars parked on the side is to drive all the way to the parking lot. The last 3.2 miles of the road is not paved, watch out for pot wholes. But you don’t need a 4x4. My one wheel drive hunchback made it OK-ish.

The trail is in great condition and there are some nice view points of Mt Rainier. There was one or two spots only where we had to go through boulders, the rest of the trail is just dirt path. It’s OK for dogs and there were plenty of them.

Use the restroom at the trail head, it’s not an easy trail to find a private spot lol.

The lake was beautiful, makes a good compensation for the work out. BUT it was very crowded and some people don’t understand that you didn’t just climbed 3.5 miles to the lake to hear them sing and play the guitar or have a loud conversation with family members who sit 10 fit away.

There was a couple of people swimming in the lake, the water was pretty chilly though. Lots of bugs, especially in the shade, take your repellent.

Enjoy the great outdoors!!! Cheers!

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.

This is my jam ✌️❤️

hiking
11 days ago

Great hike! Lots of shade which is great for the furry friends, not too difficult but definitely still a good workout. We went early afternoon which was perfect as a lot of people were leaving and it was starting to cool down but there was still a lot of cars when we showed up and parking is tight. Only complaint was lots of bugs at Olallie even with bug spray, but Talapus was great! Want to bring some floaties and spend the day out there next time!

It is good challenging trail.

hiking
11 days ago

Hiked on 7/6 but only able to get to Heather Meadows due to snow. We didn’t bring trekking poles, but it still looked sketchy so we didn’t want to risk it. Still a beautiful hike with lots of wildflowers. Can’t wait to go the entire loop again!

Great hike. Starts off moderate, crosses the creek which gets crowded, nice waterfall on the way, then up the switchbacks which are pretty tiring, to the lakes. Almost completely snow free now. Bugs were awful by the lakes, even with spray. Get there early to avoid crowds.

Easy to moderate trail, good for leisurely hike. You can pay for parking at the entrance if you don’t have a nw forest pass. Carry mosquito repellent if you plan to go in summers near the lake.

hiking
11 days ago

Started at Colchuck and did the through hike in a day (20mi). The descents felt harder than the climbs, grippy shoes are a must. Only saw a couple of people without poles. Make sure to save some time for hanging out on the top of the pass! Can't wait to do it again!

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