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Trailhead Direct: Mailbox Peak Shuttle Launch

Posted by Anna Roth at Jun 11, 2018 03:23 PM |

For its final Trailhead Direct route, King County is helping hikers save the stress of parking by bussing folks to Mailbox Peak. And, for its launch weekend only, you could get some sweet swag. Read on.

In its continuing efforts to ensure more equitable access and improve public transportation to trails, the popular Trailhead Direct service is opening its final route of the 2018 hiking season on Saturday: a shuttle running from Twin Falls Middle School to the Mailbox Peak trailhead. 

people-on-bus_eli-brownell.jpgHikers getting ready to enjoy one of the Trailhead Direct services earlier this summer. Photo by Eli Brownell, King County Parks

It's a little different than the other two routes. Rather than transporting hikers from Seattle to the trailhead, this service aims to reduce parking congestion on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River Road by encouraging hikers to utilize the Twin Falls Middle School as overflow parking for the trailhead. A shuttle bus will transport hikers from the middle school to the trailhead every 20 minutes. 

So why the shuttle, rather than a route from Seattle? The service is being provided to help deal with parking issues at Mailbox, and people come from all over to hike the iconic hill. So King County Parks, Metro, the State Department of Natural Resources, WTA and Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust worked together to make this service a reality, helping guide hikers from all over to a parking lot that can better bear the brunt of the hundreds of cars that head for Mailbox Peak on the weekend.

Cars parked on the side of the Middle Fork Road not only make for a crowded trailhead, they also degrade the road quality, and damage the plant life and water quality of the valley we come to enjoy. 

Save the earth, take a bus to the trailhead. Photo by Eli Brownell, King County Parks


  • Mailbox Peak shuttle service starts June 16. It will run Saturdays and Sundays and designated holidays throughout summer until fall (October/November)
  • The shuttle is a transit van that moves from Twin Falls Middle School.
  • The fare is $2.50 for adults (until July, when Metro fares increase to a flat rate of $2.75), $1.50 for youth (6-18), $1 for Regional Reduced Fare Permit cardholders and children may ride for free.
  • ORCA cards, cash, and Transit Go Mobile tickets will all be accepted.
  • For the first weekend of operation only, riders with a Discover Pass can show it in lieu of payment for each trip they take. Each rider must have a separate Discover Pass, though up to four children (ages 5 and younger) can ride free with an adult showing a Discover Pass.
  • Giveaway bags will be handed out by drivers all weekend as long as they last. 

IF you do drive...

  • Park only in the well-marked, pre-designated spots only and mind the “no parking signs” along the road.
  • The shuttle drops off at the lower parking lot, where there is a bus stop sign. From there, hikers walk up the road to the main trail.
  • Check the upper lot! Spaces open up throughout the day. The upper lot may have more spot open later in the day as early hikers leave.