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Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

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Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail

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  • The trailhead for the New Trail.- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • Continue past the New Trail to find the Old Trail.- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • Way down for the New Trail- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • First viewpoint.- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • Boulder field along the way to Mailbox Peak.- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • View over the valley with Interstate 90.- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • Views of Bellevue and Seattle.- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • To the north, an Old Cabin on the ridgeline.- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • Views across the valley from Mailbox Peak.- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • Backside of the mailbox with Mount Rainier in the distance.- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • Ridgeline continuing from Mailbox Peak.- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • Endless mountain views from Mailbox Peak.- Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • Steep slope on the ridge. - Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
  • - Mailbox Peak via the Old Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Cool mailbox.
Cons: 
Crowded. Steep. Wet.
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Alerts: 
The trailhead has limited access due to Middle Fork Road Project. For more information, check https://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/projects/wa/snoqualmie/
Region:
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
4,000.00 ft (1,219.20 m)
Parking Pass: 
Washington Discovery Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
5.40 mi (8.69 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
830.00 ft (252.98 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Mailbox Peak is an extremely grueling and steep trail. With 4,000 feet in elevation gain in just 2.5 miles, this hike is very difficult. There are great views at the top that only seem improve due to the steepness of the trail. The Old Trail is less maintained than the New Trail and has many more downed trees. The trail starts off with a somewhat gradual grade, but soon the hike starts to pick up and become extremely steep. In many places there are steep steps caused by roots holding the dirt in place. Some of these steps are up to 3 feet tall.

To get to the Old Trail, start by heading up the closed road near the parking lot, following the signs to Mailbox Peak Hike. Soon there will be a trailhead on the left that is for the New Trail. Continue past that for about 0.2 miles, and the Old Trail is on the left with warning signs indicating the trail difficulty. 

The trail has reflectors a few feet above eye level on the trees that serve as markers for the trail since the trail gets hard to navigate in places. Eventually the trail will end up meeting with the New Trail, which is clearly marked. From there, the trail opens up and goes through a boulder field. The trail then hugs the ridge all the way up to the summit while maintaining a very steep ascent. 

From the summit there are panoramic views of Washington including Mount Rainer, Bellevue, and Seattle from the mailbox. The origins of the mailbox and how it was placed there are still unknown, but the mailbox has gone missing at times only to be replaced by later visitors. The mailbox is a home for food, letters, poetry, and other sundry items that people have brought with them to the summit.

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(14 within a 30 mile radius)

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