Hike Mailbox Peak



5.4 miles

Elevation Gain

4200 ft

Route Type


Added by Mikaela Tangeman

Mailbox peak is an extremely tough 5.4 miles roundtrip. Once you make it to the summit, the view is simply incredible. 

Note this adventure covers the old route. For the updated route, check out Hike Mailbox Peak New Trail.

Take exit 34 from I-90. Head north on 468th Ave SE 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 left onto SE Middle Fork Road. Take the turnoff to the trailhead on the right and continue a short distance to the parking lot.

The greatest reward is the joy of the effort itself and of digging deep within yourself to find the strength to conquer the mighty Mailbox and be able to place your name in the summit register. The register is contained – appropriately enough – in a mailbox someone installed at the top. The views and scenery along the way are few to none, mostly forest trekking. But once you break to the infamous Mailbox scramble the views of Rainier and the valley are UNREAL.

The way down is worse than the way up. Bring trekking poles. This is not an easy hike, it seems short but the elevation gain is 4200 ft of straight vertical trails. Put your name or a memorable note in the Mailbox at the top, there is a designated hiker who collects everything in the Mailbox and places it in the King County Library Archive :)

It is important to note that this adventure features the old Mailbox Peak Trail. The new trail is approximately 11 miles roundtrip. If you choose to hike the old trail, remember to follow the white diamonds (trees marked). The old and new trail meet approximately 1 mile from the peak. The last 1/2 mile gains about 1000 ft altitude, and is a light scramble to the actual mailbox.

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Leave a Review

almost 5 years ago

Bring Your Endurance Game

Beautiful hike. It's around 9.5 miles round trip. There's lots of mud on the trail so get ready to be dirty. The most challenging section is one mile from the top. Bring lots of water and determination.

almost 5 years ago

Distance incorrect

Never take directions from a woman. Hike is actually 9 miles round trip (GPS) not 5.4. Great view but watch out for the weather, gets pretty cold at the top. Just kidding about the woman joke. ;)

almost 5 years ago

Such a good hike, missed out on the 360 view but hiking in the clouds made it worth while.

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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