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Mailbox Peak

Snoqualmie Region > North Bend Area
47.4675, -121.6748 Map & Directions
9.4 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
4,000 feet
Highest Point
4,822 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
The famous mailbox at the top of Mailbox Peak. Photo by Stuke Sowle. Full-size image
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Summits
  • Fall foliage

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
Saved to My Backpack

While still relatively steep, this new route up Mailbox Peak, built in part with help from WTA volunteers, offers a safer and more easily navigable way for folks to summit this formidable peak than the old trail. Continue reading

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Hiking Mailbox Peak

The old trail up Mailbox Peak was the stuff of legend. It inspired potential Rainier climbers, challenged adventurous day hikers, and occasionally Mother Nature used the trail to bite back. The number of injuries and rescues on the old trail, as well as terrible erosion caused by the masses of daily visitors, prompted the Department of Natural Resources to create a new trail to the top. While still relatively steep, this new route, built in part by WTA volunteers, offers a safer way for folks to attain the summit of this formidable peak. 

Your trip begins along the Middle Fork Road. The hike is wildly popular--on a typical weekend, the trailhead can have upward of 50 cars at any given hour. The new trail also came with a new upper parking lot, but even so, don't expect to get a spot in the parking lot unless you arrive very early.

Hang your Discover Pass in your car and head out, walking for a short jaunt along a paved DNR road. Approach a gate and slip around it. About one hundred yards past the gate, an inviting opening indicates the location of the new trail. Set out for the summit here, along a trail that switchbacks along the northwest face of Mailbox Peak.

Bridges and creek crossings await you in the lower section of the hike, and then the switchbacks start. At roughly 850 feet of elevation gain per mile, your thighs will feel the burn once you start climbing, and it won't let up until you're standing triumphantly next to the Mailbox. Distract yourself by taking a look at the construction of the trail. A multitude of WTA volunteer crews worked to create rock fords and turnpikes (elevated sections of trail) that keep your feet dry as you cross many creeks.

The switchbacks continue for about 4 miles, before rejoining the old trail at elevation 3860 feet for your final push to the summit. This last push consists of 960 feet of elevation gain in half a mile--hopefully the approach warmed you up for the final assault! If your energy flags, remember what views await you at the summit.

The peak's position at the end of a long ridgeline means you'll have an even better vantage point for panoramas than you might on other summits like Granite or Bandera. Rainier is in your face, and to the northwest, the Middle Fork Valley stretches before you like a lush green carpet. If nothing else, think about what might be in the mailbox itself besides the summit register. Folks have found beer, toys, even a fire hydrant at the top! What might you find? Let us know in the trip reports.

Toilet Information

  • Toilet at trailhead

More information about toilets

WTA worked here in 2013 and 2012!

Hike Description Written by
Paul Kriloff, WTA Correspondent

Mailbox Peak

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.4675, -121.6748 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Driving Directions

Take exit 34 from I-90. Head north on 468th Ave SE for approximately half a mile 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 right onto SE Dorothy Lake Road, and just after it links back up with the Middle Fork Road, look for the turnoff for Mailbox Peak trailhead to your right. Take the turnoff to the trailhead on the right and continue a short distance up the paved road to the paved parking lot with 40 spots and a vault toilet.

Important - Gate opening and closing times vary throughout the year, typically occurring approximately an hour after dawn and an hour before dusk. Current gate closure times will be posted at the trailhead.

More Hike Details


Snoqualmie Region > North Bend Area

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Region (Nelson & Bauer -- Mountaineers Books)

National Geographic Issaquah Alps Mount Si 824

Buy the Green Trails Bandera No. 206 map

Buy the Green Trails Mount Si No. 206S map

Download a map to plan your hike

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Mailbox Peak

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