Mailbox Peak

Don't be fooled by the 6-mile round-trip length, this is a strenuous hike, over 1500 ft of elevation gain per mile for most of the trail. The views make it worth it, but the trail can be hard to follow and crowds heavy. Expect to see a lot of first-time hikers on the trail.

Mt Rainier from Mailbox Peak

 Map: Here's a one-way track from the summit to the trailhead:

View Hike: Mailbox Peak, North Bend, WA in a larger map  

For a more detailed map, see Green Trails Map 174: Mt Si.

 Current Conditions: Because this is a popular hike and nearby, there's generally recent trip reports on the WTA web site during the hiking season.

 Directions: This one's easy to get to, no off-roading it or experiencing the worst that Middle Fork Road has to offer. From Seattle, head east on I-90 to exit 34. Exit and take a left on 468th, go past the gas stations, and you'll see Middle Fork Rd on your right. Follow it till the pavement ends, about 3 miles in; you will see a turnout and most likely several cars. The hike starts beyond the gate on DNR 908:

Trail starts at DNR 908     The trail to Mailbox starts with 1/2 mile hike up DNR 908

 Route overview: From the gate, follow the forest road for about half a mile. There you'll see the actual trailhead and information board (it's marked as a waypoint on the map above):

A warning message, map and information where DNR 908 meets the start of the actual Mailbox Peak trail

The board has a warning and navigation information:

Warning sign and examples of trail markers, follow these when the trail is unclearExplanation of the diamond markings   

Map of the trail, with caution area highlighted

From here it's a 2.5 mile climb to the top. About two-thirds of the way up you'll begin to get some views out through the trees:

View of Mt Rainier about 2/3 of the way up  

A little beyond this point, you will break out near the rock slope - the area where careful navigation is most important. There's a split in the trail at one point, but it's well-marked:

A cairn and sign mark the correct trail branch to follow

The final push to the summit looks like this (looking down):

The trail down from the summit

And finally the peak:

Mt Rainier from Mailbox Peak

Be careful and pay attention on the descent, several have wandered off to the north by mistake near the rock slope. Keep a close eye on the trail markings.

 Passes: A Discover Pass is required to park at the trailhead

 Reference: Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Region (Done in a Day)  Hike #29

The WTA website has the complete text of the hike description from the book above.

Peakbagger Link for Mailbox Peak