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Mailbox Peak Old Trail

North Bend, Washington

based on 9 reviews



4.96 miles

Elevation Gain

3898 ft

Route Type



Added by Mikaela Tangeman

Mailbox Peak Old Trail is an extremely tough 5-mile roundtrip hike. Once you make it to the summit, the view is simply incredible. 

Note this adventure covers the old route. For the updated route, check out Hike Mailbox Peak New Trail.

Take exit 34 from I-90. Head north on 468th Ave SE until the intersection with the SE Middle Fork Road. Turn right onto the Middle Fork Road. Follow SE Middle Fork Road 2.2 miles to the stop sign at the junction with SE Dorothy Lake Road. Head left onto SE Middle Fork Road. Take the turnoff to the trailhead on the right and continue a short distance to the parking lot.

The greatest reward is the joy of the effort itself and of digging deep within yourself to find the strength to conquer the mighty Mailbox and be able to place your name in the summit register. The register is contained – appropriately enough – in a mailbox someone installed at the top. The views and scenery along the way are few to none, mostly forest trekking. But once you break to the infamous Mailbox scramble the views of Rainier and the valley are UNREAL.

The way down is worse than the way up. Bring trekking poles. This is not an easy hike, it seems short but the elevation gain is 4200 ft of straight vertical trails. Put your name or a memorable note in the Mailbox at the top, there is a designated hiker who collects everything in the Mailbox and places it in the King County Library Archive :)

It is important to note that this adventure features the old Mailbox Peak Trail. The new trail is approximately 11 miles roundtrip. If you choose to hike the old trail, remember to follow the white diamonds (trees marked). The old and new trail meet approximately 1 mile from the peak. The last 1/2 mile gains about 1000 ft altitude, and is a light scramble to the actual mailbox.

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Mailbox Peak Old Trail Reviews

Hello all, The following is a detailed report of my experience in the trail, a video of the hike that will show more details and updates can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ9ovksdlqI&t=398s Started my hike at 6:15Am there was only one other car in the parking lot. my plan was to hike up the old trail to the top and then back down the new trail that way it would be nicer on my knees. I kept a solid pace of about 2MPH and reached the top just after 8am. There was a fair amount of snow that started about 1mile up the old trail. Upon reaching the summit the wind was very very strong despite only calling for 5mph winds. I used Crampons at the summit they were not necessary, but they did help. At the base of the boulder field, I changed into my running gear and ran back to the trailhead via the new trail. got back to the cars at 9:30am and drove home again Turned around and hiked down, I would like to say that the video gives a very good description of the current conditions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ9ovksdlqI&t=398sng -Zach

The old trail is awesome. You get an amazing workout out in all while working on navigating skills through the solid 1/2+ mile that is washed out. The views at the top are beyond worth enduring the grueling incline. Please keep in mind this trail is used to train for people who are planning on summiting Mount Rainer and is recognized as one of the top five hardest hikes in Washington. That being said, always carry the ten essentials with you and bring a buddy. Happy hiking!

went up on Saturday, found parking in the main lot pretty easy - arrived by 8:00am. Cars were stacking up on the road, a few spots left in the main lot. be careful when parking on the main road. primarily due to inconsiderate hikers who will park anywhere and block you in. The old trail is steep but still in pretty good condition. very few people on the trail, mostly encountering folks jogging down. even though you are tired, you still need to pay attention to the trail as there are some offshoots that can be mistaken and get you off trail if you're not paying attention. Once you come to the old trail/ new trail junction the bolder field begins. pretty easy to follow the trail - from the boulders, you still have a steep 1/4 to 1/2 mile of trail to the summit - keep at it - you are almost there. Once at the summit....it was all worth it. It was pretty crowded, about 30 or so people at the summit,there was still room for pictures and finding a place to eat some lunch. while we had low clouds on Saturday, you could still see Baker poking her head out through the clouds.

I recommend taking the old trail up & the new trail down. Hiking poles are helpful - and mosquitos were biting me...so bug spray for sure:) I wouldn't start too much later than 1pm or so..

Beautiful hike. It's around 9.5 miles round trip. There's lots of mud on the trail so get ready to be dirty. The most challenging section is one mile from the top. Bring lots of water and determination.

Such a good hike, missed out on the 360 view but hiking in the clouds made it worth while.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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