Hike Mailbox Peak

Washington Mailbox Trailhead

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Mailbox peak is an extremely tough 5.4 miles roundtrip. Once you make it to the summit, the view is simply incredible. 

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 :)

Pack List

  • Trekking Poles
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Day Pack
  • Hiking Boots
  • Lunch
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



5.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

4200 Feet




Are we missing something?

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How to Get There

9 months ago


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..

9 months ago

11 months ago

Bring Your Endurance Game

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.

11 months ago

12 months ago

Distance incorrect

Never take directions from a woman. Hike is actually 9 miles round trip (GPS) not 5.4. Great view but watch out for the weather, gets pretty cold at the top. Just kidding about the woman joke. ;)

12 months ago

about 1 year ago

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

about 1 year ago

about 1 year ago

Worth every Step!

The 360 degree views are amazing when you reach the peak. I took the old (unmaintained) trail up by following the white diamonds. This is about 4000 elevation in 2.5 mi. The old trail then meets the new and the final push to the mailbox begins. With 1/2 mile left, you will be challenged with a steep elevation gain of approximately 1000 ft. Come prepared. Bring Water and extra food. Trekking poles are a great help on the way down!

about 1 year ago

about 1 year ago

Up With The Old And Down With The New

Start early and beat the crowds. With the new trail, there are lots of people at the top. The old trail is a great trainer for more serious peaks in the cascade. Recommend descending the new trail to save the knees.

about 1 year ago

about 2 years ago

Great training hike. Should only take a fit hiker 2 hours up with a 40lb pack. This year it is snow free...

about 2 years ago

about 2 years ago

This hike was pretty difficult. Kicked my butt! the view was totally worth it though!

about 2 years ago

over 2 years ago

Most avid hikers in the Seattle area have done this hike. Whether you do the old trail or new, it's not for those who rarely get out, unless you'll expect a bit of a spanking. Beautiful views of the Snoqualmie Valley if the day is clear.

over 2 years ago

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