Explore the most popular hiking trails in Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hiked 7/15/18. The trail was a little confusing. When you get to the point where you have to go left or right and it looks like right is washed out, go right - you can see the trail continue just beyond the trees. Views were okay, but don't think I'd do this one again.

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

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
5 days ago

Fantastic hike! The views from the top are stunning and the mailbox truly is iconic. We went up and back on the new trail and my watch clocked it at a bit over 11 miles. This seems to be a trend for this hike, but I'm not sure. Would still highly recommend, just know what you're getting yourself into. That being said, the trail is incredibly well maintained, making it easy to hike--especially towards the top/steepest part.

Wow, what a workout! The view was amazing!
Old trail up, Old trail down, toes haven’t forgiven me yet. Hardest trail I ever hiked.

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

This is a nice easy trail to get to Mirror Lake, you also pass a smaller lake on the way. I saw some fisherman there. Several camping spots around Mirror Lake. I tried to hike up to Tinkham peak, but as others said there really is no trail. It’s a scramble and a steep one at that. It wasn’t worth it. I only saw bits of snow right at the lake the trail was pretty dry, it was late June.

Great hike. Hard at the end but totally word it. Breathtaking views.

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

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.

hiking
15 days ago

Went Tuesday, great trail, took the new trail up and back. Had 3L camelback full and used all of it. Bring a lightweight jacket and bug spray for the summit.

hiking
15 days ago

Alright so to caveat off another review here, this trail is definitely not 9 miles. The loop is 9 miles, which is goin up the new and down old trail or vice versa. If you take the new trail up its 6.58 miles ONE WAY! We used a short section of the old trail cut it down to 4.87 on the decent. I suggest updating the trail length. Definitely a tough trail but it was fine. Gorgeous views.

hiking
17 days ago

Hiked up the old trail on a misty/rainy morning for the first time. The trail was muddy and slick in spots, but approach shoes provided secure footing. The trail was difficult to navigate in some areas. It seemed like there were a number of alternate routes. Look for the reflective white diamonds for the most direct route. Overall, the trail was a whole lot of fun. Very diverse steps/obstacles along a pretty steep grade. Given the rain, I took the new trail down but I plan to try old trail down on a dry day. Highly recommended trail to evaluate your cardio while having a blast.

old trail is worth the challenge.
took us 2:30 hour's to the peek.
I know that's probably slow but I enjoyed the hard steep climb.
kept my mind from wondering..

hiking
19 days ago

Great tough hike.

Holy crap the last half mile or so is a beast, Apple watch clocked me at 11.5 miles.

I’m seriously out of shape and my stubbornness made me summit.

If you love challenges and steep hike try old trail loop. Yes it is shorter than the new one but hard. It started raining when we reached mid-way, highly recommend carrying rain gear (if rain is in the forecast) and trekking poles. Carry snacks and plenty of water/electrolytes. It’s fun and worth it!!

Awesome trail. Good workout, challenging old trail, lengthy switchbacks on the way down via the new trail. Recommend using poles and maybe a Sherpa:-)!

Good hike overall, last half mile or so was pretty challenging. Views from the top were amazing on a cloudless day. Definitely a fun trail, would do again.

hiking
22 days ago

This was rough. Not for the faint at all. Give yourself plenty of time, water, and snacks to do it if you're a novice. highly recommend poles and taking the new trail.

hiking
22 days ago

Lots of switch backs. Went in October and the trail had all the weather patterns, fall colours to rain, sleet and snow at the top. Shame there was a foggy view at the top, couldn’t see a whole lot, but will definitely do it again!!

Very tough trail, bring plenty of water. Spectacular view at the top. I got a great picture of my dog in the mailbox.

It took me 3.5 hours to get up and 2.5 down, average hiker. Make sure to check out the beautiful North Bend / Snoqualmie towns after! Lots to see, eat, and drink.

Hike Time: 3:46 (1:56 Up - STRENUOUS SPEED)

Thought I'd share four more VERY HELPFUL details/things learned regarding the Mailbox Peak trail yesterday, since it created a couple small headaches for me.

1) There are two parking lots at the trailhead. When I first arrived I only so the lower lot and turned around to try the shuttle, only to return to find the upper lot.

2) A shuttle runs from the middle school to the trailhead every 20 minutes or so, but the LAST SHUTTLE BACK IS AT 6PM. After failing with the lower parking lot, I returned to the middle school to get on the shuttle to find this out, and ended up returning to the trailhead again.

3) The Upper Parking Lot closes at 8:00PM, leave the upper lot no later than 2:00-2:30PM if you park here! I left the upper lot around 3:30PM and this hike turned into a bit of a sprint to try and make it back in time before the gates closed, so plan accordingly.

4) If you're in pretty good shape, plan for at least 5 hours hiking time (not counting pictures etc). I am in pretty good shape (28yo runner) and hike just about every weekend, I did this in ~2 hours up, but it's not worth it, I do not recommend it.

That is all. Photos here: https://www.instagram.com/kjcoop/

- Kyle

hiking
25 days ago

New Trail Up & Down

Hike Time: 3:46 (1:56 Up - STRENUOUS SPEED)

Thought I'd share four more VERY HELPFUL details/things learned regarding the Mailbox Peak trail yesterday, since it created a couple small headaches for me.

1) There are two parking lots at the trailhead. When I first arrived I only so the lower lot and turned around to try the shuttle, only to return to find the upper lot.

2) A shuttle runs from the middle school to the trailhead every 20 minutes or so, but the LAST SHUTTLE BACK IS AT 6PM. After failing with the lower parking lot, I returned to the middle school to get on the shuttle to find this out, and ended up returning to the trailhead again.

3) The Upper Parking Lot closes at 8:00PM, leave the upper lot no later than 2:00-2:30PM if you park here! I left the upper lot around 3:30PM and this hike turned into a bit of a sprint to try and make it back in time before the gates closed, so plan accordingly.
4) If you're in pretty good shape, plan for at least 5 hours hiking time (not counting pictures etc). I am in pretty good shape (28yo runner) and hike just about every weekend, I did this in ~2 hours up, but it's not worth it, I do not recommend it.

That is all. Photos here: https://www.instagram.com/kjcoop/

- Kyle

This hike was nonetheless amazing. I was pretty nervous after reading some reviews, but it was AMAZING. HARD as hell for sure!!! We went with a group of friends, and only myself and one other friend made it to the top at a reasonable time. We were up for almost an extra hour waiting for the others. It is STEEP!!!! one thing we thought was we were decent on water, but we weren’t. I’d for sure recommend a back pack with at least a gallon of water, and if the weathers warm light light clothing. We were sweating our asses off!! The view at the top of the mountain is incredible. Nature is beautiful, amazing trees, river, just simply gorgeous. We all fell at some pointe so I’d recommend good hiking shoes/boots. I will be doing this again! Adventures at its finest!!! It took us about 7 hours with sitting at the mailbox for over an hour. Enjoy !!!!

hiking
27 days ago

We took the shuttle from the middle school down the road which was really easy ($2.50). Hiked up the old trail and down the new one. Would definitely recommend going down the new one as it’s way easier on the knees. The old one is basically a staircase lol. Too cloudy to see anything once we got up there so make sure you do it on a clear day to make it worth it!

Great trail and kind people. Will come back for the peak on a nicer day. Grey today but peaceful

backpacking
1 month ago

Love it! The grind is real.

Awesome experience! Very hard but worth it at the top. The view is stunning. My only thing I would say for first timers is be careful if you have a pup. Maybe my little guy wasn’t quite ready but we hike and run a lot and this one was too much for him. It’s a long way up and a long way down. The shuttle was great- plan on taking that and park at the high school. We made the mistake of driving to the trailhead and even at 8am the lots were full. We then had to drive all the way back. Shuttle driver was very nice both ways and no wait at all. Also bring more water than you even plan on. Happy trails! We had a great hike!!

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