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hiking
23 minutes 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.

1 hour ago

it was an easy trail to the top. you will see the sign of a teen who passed away by falling from the cliff. so one thing to be noted: please be aware and conscious. the view from the top was blocked as it was cloudy. but worth a try for its nearness to the city of redmond

hiking
2 hours ago

Bugs are out! I had different bees follow me for most of my hike. Mosquitos are bad in the higher elevations as well due to the snow melt. Beautiful hike but I wish I had worn a bug net on my head or bug repellant. I stopped to take a picture and had 4 mosquitos on my arm! lol. Lots of poison ivy in the lower elevations. If you're allergic to it definitely wear long pants and long sleeves.

Great hike. Gorgeous views. My grandkids loved playing in the lake. We will definitely do it again.

backpacking
5 hours ago

A tough at times hike but absolutely worth it. Drive to trailhead is along a one-lane dirt road going into the mountains, nothing too scary but be ready to pullover for traffic. Beginning of hike is fairly flat and easy, but after a few hours you'll get into some steep elevation gains. Nothing hairy, just exhausting, especially if you're bringing a fully loaded pack. When you get to towards the first basin it may be incredibly buggy, bring some spray. Great views of the glacial mountains along the way. Once you get to Royal Lake you'll be tempted to chill or swim in the beautiful blue water, but if you've got the energy definitely continue on to the to upper basin. By the end you'll have seen some beautiful meadows and another stunning glacial lake surrounded by snowy mountains.

If camping, the lake campsites looked nice, but there's a number of sites. If looking for something more private, consider the Lower Royal Meadow sites, there were only 2 that I saw. You're right next to the creek so easy to filter water. Was really buggy, but I don't think you can get away from that anywhere. Quite chilly at night as well.

Beautiful view, hot! BUGS!! BUGS!
Few snow on the ground!! But it’s worth it

Amazing views!!! Stayed the night in the meadows right next to a water source. If you plan on overnighting, there is a camp spot around 1.5 miles with a water source, we wished we would of camped here so that we dropped our packs before the real steep climb. Just wanted to add that in case anyone was looking! Overall an awesome, yet difficult hike. Make sure you cross the street to start the hike, there is a set of stairs that looks like the trail by the parking lot and it is not apart of this trail.

We arrived at the trailhead at 8:40am today. We find a parking spot in the parking lot. The trail was not very busy when we hike. The view at the top was stunning! It’s a relatively easy trail in my opinion, not so much as moderate. When we hike down, the amount of people gets larger and we feel fortunate to start early.

The first part of the trail is pretty easy. Once you hit the second bridge you have to billy goat your way to the top using lots of switchbacks

hiking
19 hours ago

Well, it was a last minute decision to hike this, so, we took the ridiculous decision to Star the hike at 4:00pm, because we had such a pressure to get to the lake, it was very hard trying to keep a consistent pace going up hill, definitely this trail requires to have some condition. Anyway we made it to trailhead on time way before the sunset at 9:10ish, we were lucky!

The “mosquito hour” was crazy and as I read in last reviews, and yes they were violent and didn’t care the repellent.

Started the trail at 830 am to avoid a lot of the crowd but it was still pretty packed at that time of day (probably because it’s a weekend). Moderate hike to Rattlesnake ledge and the view was definitely worth it! We continued on to Eastridge (I think that’s what it was called) which is 2.4 miles up from Rattlesnake ledge. There is a great view if Mt Si from the top with a bench to enjoy the view.

Just got back from an overnighter at Yellow Aster. Absolutely amazing night for it. Still quite some snow, but it is quickly melting. Just wear your sturdy boots and you'll be fine. Glad we were going down on the Saturday because a lot of people were going up :). Seriously one of the best hikes ever!

hiking
1 day 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

Had an amazing time up here today.
Taking forest road 27 to the trailhead is super easy: there are signs for both the upper and lower trailheads. Lower trailhead was crowded on a Saturday morning, but we were able to squeeze into one of the last spots around 8:45am.
Trail is definitely a hard one, but nothing unmanageable and well worth the spectacular views of both the Olympics and Cascades.

I went a couple months ago on a Monday afternoon and it was still crazy busy! The view is beautiful and the hike up was very scenic.

trail running
1 day 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Trail condition was good, and much of the hike was in shaded areas which helped since it was 95 degrees. There were several viewpoints, and spots to stop along the river. There was also a waterfall prior to the last ascent. Payout at the end is a beautiful alpine lake.

The trail is very popular, and heading back down was fairly busy. We left the trailhead at 7am. Would recommend going early to get a parking spot and beat some of the traffic.

Mosquitos and flies were aggressive. Bring plenty of bug spray.

Perfect day to be on a mountain. This trail is overgrown in parts, but it’s still easy to follow. Wildflowers are really blooming right now, as well as salmon berry and huckleberry. Easily the best smelling trail I’ve been on! Mainly in Forrest most of the way with some spots you break out into beautiful meadows with steep slopes all around you. Moonshine Flats is a great spot to camp if that’s your plan. The first glimpse of the view you are in store for is when you hit the last big switchback getting to the summit ridge. Once you hit the summit, enjoy the incredible 360 views, along with lunch. I think this is more around 8 miles round trip however. But a beautiful hike. Highly recommend.

Fun hike. Hard but it's worth it

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

What the guy said below. The snowfields at the top still have some vertical gain so our poles were helpful but did it in hiking shoes.

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

Awesome hike with great views of the mountains and wildlife. Saw lots of deer, a bear family with mom and three cubs, a marmot. Can be windy and chilly when the sun is covered. Fairly easy hike.

on Maple Pass Trail

hiking
2 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.

hiking
2 days ago

Simple and gorgeous views all the way!

Legitimately my favorite day hike to date.

Trail to the junction is easy on the feet and covered, for the most part. Steeper than the first half, the ascent from the junction offered numerous beautiful views. Kept moving and the mosquitos were never an issue. We were tempted to climb up the pass but opted to save that for another day. The first 2 dirt miles were a bit bumpy. Great hike with a stunning lake at the top. Not hard, moderate.

such a great experience!! This place was my first mountain hike ever. Seeing those kinds of beautiful view made me so much interested doing mountain hiking. It inspired me alot and that I won’t never forget this place. After I went here last 2 months ago, I started to do more hiking trails and discover myself that i love hiking.

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