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Mailbox Peak Trail Loop is a 8.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near North Bend, Washington that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 8.5 mi Elevation gain 3,884 ft Route type Loop

Dog friendly

Hiking

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Fee

Description
Waypoints (6)
Facilities
Contact
Tips
Getting There

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. Check out the tips section for more great info!

New well-maintained parking lot has built-up; drive up through the gate on paved road to find it. Toilet is available on the parking lot. Discover pass required for parking.

Washington State Department of Natural Resources South Puget Sound Region Tel: 360.825.1631

1. Parking is crowded. 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. 4. Mailbox at the top: Bring a sticker for the mailbox. Don’t put food in the mailbox. 5. Old trail? Or new trail? Take the new trail both ways for an easier hike. 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!). 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. 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. 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. 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. And of course, lots of water for doggo! This is a fantastic hike that every WA hiker shoule go on.

To reach the trailhead from Seattle, travel east on I-90 to exit 34. Turn left onto 468th Ave and travel 0.4 miles. Turn right onto Middle Fork Road. The road should split and rejoin after 2.1 miles, travel 0.3 more miles and look for roads on your right. The pavement ends at a Y where a gate is. Drive up through the gate about 500 ft, and you'll find the parking area. Take the blue gated gravel road (walk) 0.4 mi, trailhead is on the left and is well marked.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1406)
Photos (1756)
Recordings (1082)
Completed (3887)
Abby Lunsford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 14 2020
Hiking

Hiked today (7/13/20) and took the new trail up and the old trail down. Perfect weather and you can’t beat the views at the top on such a clear day. The last 1/4mi is pretty steep/rocky at the top so it’ll seem difficult if you took the new trail and have not experienced the old trail but don’t give up because the peak is worth the extra effort! Also, bring plenty of water!! 10/10 would hike again.

Elise Alfano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 13 2020
HikingMuddyRocky
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A Hogan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 12 2020
Hiking

This was amazing! View at the top was absolutely beautiful

Debbie Perez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Not an easy trail. Mistakenly took old trail up but was wise enough to take new trail down, hence the long time. Was well worth it for the views. This trail can be hiked by a beginner but plan for a long hike with lots of breaks.

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Matthew Black
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
HikingBugsMuddy
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Swaraj P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
BugsMuddy

Great Trail with a pretty good workout. We took the new trail to go up on a partly Sunny day. Took the old trail going down, which is a knee breaker. Also, we saw a black bear eating berries right before we exited. The beer ran away after seeing us.

Paul Lawrence
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

Classic hike, good today in the rain!

View Paul's Recording
Fiona Rand
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 07 2020
Hiking

Got to the trailhead at 6:15am, started at 6:20. Did the old trail as a 21 y/o female, relatively fit, solo. There were 2 other cars there when I started. The road there is maintained and nice, but a discover pass is required. The old trail is pretty steep and it took me 3 hours (9:20am) to get to the top. Great view and I did get 10 minutes alone at the top! Took the new trail down which was about 2 hrs. A lot more people were coming up it around 10am as I was heading down, so I recommend coming earlier. I got to my car around 12pm and the lower lot was full.

Jayanth M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingMuddyScramble
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Forrest Olson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingRocky
View Forrest's Recording
Samantha Robinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
Hiking

Gorgeous. A lot of "false peaks." Don't give up!

Micke Rae
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingBugsMuddyRocky

There were still parking spots open at 7:15 am as we headed up the Old Trail. Muddy in spots with small trees across the trail occasionally. Mosquitos were a problem when we broke out of the treeline. Watch for the markers and be prepared for a steep ascent over roots and rocks. The few hikers who were on the trail spread out quickly and we mostly had the trail to ourselves until connecting into the new trail. At that point and through the boulder field, we crossed paths with about 10 groups. Most everyone was wearing masks, at least when passing others. The wildflowers are blooming; lots of miniature dogwoods line the path. The top was not too crowded at 10ish, but the numbers grew consistently from then on. Sadly, there was trash around the summit. We packed some out and hope others will too. We took the new trail down and were very glad we did. Passed many hikers heading up and a number of unleashed dogs. Takeaways: start early, bring/wear a mask, bring poles, bring bug spray. If doing the Old Trail, wear boots or good traction trail shoes. It's a challenging trail, but so so nice to be at the top!

Jodie D.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020

This is a new favorite. I went up the old and down the new. It was a great workout - admittedly I was dragging through the rock field and the final ascent. It was a longer hike after the rocks than my old bod was mentally prepared for! That said, it was stunning and since it isn't a race, lol, I just took my time, and lots of photos! Beautiful wild flowers everywhere, including Bear Grass, a personal favorite! The old trail coming down was really beautiful too and definitely a work of art- great work by the tail crew. It was really well maintained. There were a lot of people, but many were wearing masks and everyone was pretty respectful and well social distanced! I left the parking lot at 7:30 am and returned at 1 pm - spent about 30 minutes at the top. Three hours up, two hours down. with half of that being the first mile or so downhill (waiting for people to pass, navigating the rocks and steeper parts)! There was some visibility at the top, but wasn't able to glimpse Rainier. Will definitely be back!

Rian K.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingMuddyScramble

I moved to the PNW about a month ago and after a fantastic 2 week backcountry experience in Yellowstone in 2015, I was stoked to do more of the mountain west and PNW. Started out at sunrise on the shared trailhead. There are two parking areas available. The lower parking area off SE Middle Fork Road is always open. The upper parking area, which is about 1/8th mile up the road, has portos but this opens 8a and closes at 8p. Keep that in mind for your trip planning. I did the ascent on the New Trail which has obviously been improved on by volunteers. You have about 8 miles of switchbacks with an ascent rate of roughly 1000ft / 2mi. This absolutely helps with the elevation gain. Early in the morning you have wildflowers and birds with tall trees. Some waterfalls and bridges along the way until about 2500 feet. The real fun starts about 3K feet when you peek over the treeline and start to get views of the mountains. The last push comes at 4K when the steepness grade increases dramatically and you have some grade 3 scrambling over rocky terrain to the top. This seems to be a popular trail. By about 11am there were plenty of hikers out. Early in the AM I encountered a few trail runners whose knees I am jealous of. I recommend hitting this one early in the AM for the following reasons: - The cool temps help regulate body heat - The sunrise views are superior to the mid-day sun - There are fewer people out This last point is very important, because that last 800 feet is extremely challenging and for most people of average fitness you will be stopping every 200 feet of gain or so to rest. This can cause crowding on the trail near the top, especially if you go at a slower pace as I seem to. At the top there were about 15-20 people, posing with the box for photos. On a dry day you can also do the scramble over to Dirty Box. I do not recommend attempting this unless you are sure footed and conditions are dry. Same thing goes for the rocky territory at 4K feet where the Old Trail meets the new. That's a good bug out point. In wet conditions the granite(?) rocks could become very slippery and there's a risk of injury. You can get some great shots at the 4K level even if you don't get to the mailbox. For my descent I used the Old Trail. The old trail is 5 miles of 20-30 degree grade mud, roots and scramble. I don't have much to offer on it. I found it challenging, visually uninteresting and slow. You might be tempted to come up / down on the Old Trail but I personally don't recommend it. Any time savings you might get from the shorter distance will be lost to the challenge of navigating it and the views are inferior. In rainy conditions it would be unsafe to descend IMO. Having done both, some reasons to take the Old Trail would be the following IMO: - Challenge seekers looking for a strenuous trail - Hikers with superior cardiovascular ability who want to save time - (Speculating) in winter snowy conditions the old trail could be a great test of full kit mountaineering gear Lastly, this is a challenging, strenuous hike. The elevation gain and distance will take effort on the part of any hiker. First-time hikers, those with knee or ankle trouble, those with severe asthma, those with poor cardiovascular fitness or the overweight should think carefully about attempting the New Trail and I do not recommend the Old Trail for those people. I walk a slow pace and got lapped by many on my ascent. My ascent took about 4hrs, but I think someone with better legs or more cardio can do this in under 3. Old trail I had to descend tentatively, actually took me as long as the New Trail. If I were to do this again I'd do New Trail both ways.

Abhishek Doyle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingFloodedRocky
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julia m
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
Hiking

This is a hard hike but not as difficult as most people say it is. If you're generally active you'll find it to be a good workout (and you'll feel it the next few days), if not you might find the steepness a bit much. We went up and down the old trail (shorter and harder), I probably wouldn't go down the old trail again for the sake of my knees but overall a good hike. It took us ~3hrs up and ~2hrs down.

Melih Erdogan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 02 2020
Hiking

We took the old trail to the top and came down through the new trail. This is a fun hike with great views. I would rate this trail somewhere between medium and hard for an active person and medium for any seasoned hiker. It is mostly a well maintained trail. However, there is so much trash such as plastic bottles, plastic wraps, food, pieces of fabric, toilet paper etc all over the trail especially near the mailbox. I will definitely bring a trash bag with me next time.

Brady Hildebrand
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Man. This was a tough one... but so worth it! I went up the old trail starting around 8am which was very very steep. But unless it’s your first time ever hiking, you’ll be able to find your way up, I was just fine on my own. It was raining nearly the whole time but with a lot of tree cover, that wasn’t a problem. There was a guy that I passed that was doing the trail in Jordan’s and fell at least 415 times, so I’d recommend boots if you’re going up the old. The new trail on the way down was very well kept but still a decent descent. Overall 10.5 miles and 4k ft elevation gain over about 5 hours (2 up, 2 down, 1 hour at top). Be ready for your legs to hate you after this hike

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