Mailbox Peak Trail Loop

HARD 555 reviews

Mailbox Peak Trail Loop is a 8.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near North Bend, Washington that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.2 miles
3,986 feet

dog friendly



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


old growth

Mailbox Peak loop is a challenging hike in the North Bend area that combines the Old Trail with the New Trail created by the Department of Natural Resources. The Old Trail is very challenging with sharp inclines all the way up through forest. The trail was easy to follow until about 3000ft where it gets covered by falling pines and leaves. Luckily the white diamond trail markers are well placed and easy to follow. Once the Old Trail meets the New Trail it's pretty straight forward from there although still very steep and challenging. Once you reach the boulder field the rest of the trail is quite exposed so dress accordingly and be prepared. It is a very quick and fun hike up through rocks and boulders and wild flowers. The top is breath taking, especially on a clear day, with views of Mount Rainier and the Middle Fork Valley below. To return, take the New Mailbox Peak Trail down back to the parking area. The parking lot gate gets closed at 9 PM daily and you must have a Discover Pass to park.

1 day ago

excelente montaña mucha adrenalina

3 days ago

Awesome experience to hike the trail... We completed first 4 miles of hike within 2 hours but the final miles once we reach Rocky Mountain area it took more time and we got tired a lot... But with the cool breeze and most around we enjoyed our hike and finally reached the destination “Mailbox”... Nice to see people leave something that remind their visit in there... Since it was covered with mist/clouds we couldn’t get the view completely... Later when we started back, it was raining like anything and finally end up getting wet completely. While return we took the old trail or primitive trail thinking that we will get nice views... But the thing is that it is very steep and while coming down we need to extra careful and also we may get lost in the trail since the pathway is damaged and not clear if you don’t have a map downloaded offline... though it had few nice views I can say... Overall we had an awesome hike with great views, wild flowers, fruits and sceneries!!! It’s worth a hike!!! Remember to take a Discover pass with you.. Or else you get a parking ticket...

8 days ago

Great hike, great reward at the top. The old trail up is a real test, but worth the effort just to be able to say you did it. The new trail is about twice as long as the old trail, but much more gradual. Taking the old trail up, I enjoyed the beauty of the forest while treating myself to huckleberries and blueberries along the way. Clearing the trees you will come to an open rock field that may look like the final push to the summit only to get up there and find out it gets steeper yet for another quarter mile or so before you get to take in the amazing view at the true summit. Lots of amazing spring flowers along the way as well.

10 days ago

this is 11miles round trip if you take new trail. take plenty of water. last mile is hard climb, in the open and rocky area. overall worth the experience.

10 days ago

Challenging but very satisfying once you finish. Went up and back on the new trail making the total miles around 13.

Well let's say I will never do this hike again. It was all rainbows and butterflies for the first 6 hours then shit went down hill from there. By the end if this hike I hated hikes, my 3 friends, and mailboxes. I never want to see a mailbox again. If ever I get the urge to see a mailbox I'm going to just fill up a random box with shit and take a selfie! Also, throwing this out there if you ever urge to see a white mailbox come to my house and I'll let you fill my box up with random shit and take a selfie. We went up the old trail. We were quite thankful for the white triangles! We lost them for a moment and went the wrong way.....annoying wasted about 30 minutes. Finally made it to the mailbox and were ecstatic did a gift exchange. We were on a hikers high going down the new trail! Then the last hour and a half everything went down hill. There were tears, laughs, hate, two of us fell, and more tears. We even went into survival mode we were out of water and food. We saw a "bear" I mean deer. Then this made us even more hungry and started to discuss who we would consume first. Again, we will never do this hike again and I will have my white mailbox at my house with random shit for your pleasure. Long story short made it to the parking lot and one friend said he would never hike with me again. The other just took their crap and said they were just going to uber home. Short story long if you want to hike 14 miles see a mailbox, fall, cry, become hysterical, lose your friends, and need surgery on your knee. Do this hike!!!!! Lastly, if there were an option I would chose extra hard on the hike level! I gym every day and do a decent amount of hiking.

12 days ago

This trail was amazing 6 hours up and down

16 days ago

Not as hard as I was expecting it to be. New trail is well maintained. Start early in the day. Took us about 4 hrs to get to the top. Once you reach the boulders it’s about another 30 mins. KEEP PUSHING! You’re almost there!!! View is beautiful! Lots of bugs at the top. Bring lots of water! I went through 70 ounces of water with still 30-35mins left coming down the trail. Bring more than you think you’ll need. Bring something to leave in the mailbox!

16 days ago

New trail is great and much easier to navigate the rock face. Pretty buggy up top.

This rt hike is at least 13.5 miles. I don’t get the distance on the trail notes unless hey are indicating from parking lot to peak-one way.

This was a great work out! The end was tough, but the feeling knowing that me and my friends accomplished this made it worth it.

23 days ago

Whew! What a tough hike but oh so worth it at the top! Took the new trail up and it was in near perfect condition. There were quite a few people on this trail but it wasn’t really bothersome. The hardest part for me was coming back down. We decided to take the old trail down and it was really hard on my knees, hips and toes and I’m only 29 and in pretty good shape. It was also my first hike of the season though. Highly recommend!

26 days ago

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

28 days ago

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.

trail running
1 month 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

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

It is good challenging trail.

1 month ago

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..

1 month ago

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!!

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

1 month 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.

1 month ago

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:

- Kyle

1 month ago

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 !!!!

1 month 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!

1 month ago

Love it! The grind is real.

1 month ago

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!!

2 months ago

Last few miles are challenging and a real burner. Peak was clear and the views were great! Excellent training ground. I would recommend being in decent shape to complete the total loop with the peak. You really earn the last bit.

2 months ago

Hiked: 2jun2018. got to trailhead at 0930.
Conditions: none, perfectly clear.
LOTS of unleashed dogs

All parking lots were full when We arrived at 0930. We parked on the street along with probably 40 other cars. Hiked UP the Old Trail and DOWN the new trail. The hike up was pretty intense but we took a lot of short breaks to rest and one longer break to snack before the two trails converged. The boulder field was easy but the section after thr field was pretty straight up all the way to the top. The peak was super busy, waited in line to get a picture with the mailbox. I thought you were swap gifts with mailbox but everyone was just stuffing it, oh well. Overall I don't think it was bad at all. Our 12 year old boy made it with no issues and little complaining, lol. if you're looking for a tough lower body workout I highly recommend the Old Trail up and new trail down. The old trail is practically a vertical grade thr while way, 3400 feet in 3 miles. If you're looking for a more leisurely hike than I highly recommend you stay off Old Trail altogether, ESPECIALLY down. I couldn't imagine how rough it is on your knees. new trail was bad enough on the knees during thr descent. According to Strava, we hiked 3 miles up the old trail and 6 miles down the new trail due to all the long switchbacks. overall great hike. I'd love to do it with snow on thr ground.

2 months ago

An awesome trail with scenery which will be captured from the beginning to the end no matter which direction you go. Remember and or keep in mind either you challenge yourself or it will challenge you ;) . Grand hike...

Load More