Looking to challenge yourself with an intense but rewarding hike this summer? Mailbox Peak is a great and classic choice. If you’re from Washington you may be familiar with this gem but if you’re new, it’s yet another hike to add to your probably long list. Here’s why Mailbox Peak is worth the hike.
At 9.4 miles, roundtrip with 4,000 feet of elevation gain, this definitely is not an easy hike. The hike’s old trail was notoriously rugged but luckily it has since been redone, and while still steep, is much more reasonable to navigate.
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The lower portion of the trail takes you over bridges and creek crossings leading you to some grueling switchbacks. The switchbacks have about 850 feet of elevation gain per mile so you’ll start to feel the burn pretty quickly. For context, the switchbacks continue for about 4 miles. Now once you rejoin the old trail after the switchbacks you’ll be at an elevation of 3860 feet and will have a final 960 feet of elevation gain to conquer before the summit. We told you it wasn’t easy!
Once you get to the top, you can take in panoramic views of Mount Rainier and the Middle Fork Valley. Of course, the other main draw of this hike is the mailbox that marks the peak. People have found all sorts of things in the mailbox and if you feel like it, you should consider bringing a letter or small memento to add to the box’s collection.
Now keep in mind this is a popular hike so the parking lot fills up quickly, be prepared to arrive very early in order to grab a spot. With that, enjoy!
Where: North Bend
Information on Mailbox Peak is from the Washington Trails Association and is accurate as of publication date.