We’ve Got No Mail on Mailbox Peak / 信箱峯上無電子情書

The final stretch on Mailbox Peak
The final stretch on Mailbox Peak

See more trip photos here.

Mailbox Peak had become super popular over the years since our first trip from a decade ago. While going through old photos, it occurred to me that the last time we visited was nearly six years ago! As I started researching road conditions last night to see about paying the peak another visit, I found a report on WTA from yesterday. Perfect.

The Lowdown on Mailbox Peak

Access: Middle Fork Road closure
Round Trip: 8.2 miles
Elevation Range: 800′-4841′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes
GPS Track: available

Hiking and Climbing via the Old Trail

We drove to the Middle Fork Road closure by the snow berm early and started hiking at a quarter past 5 for the additional .75-mile walk to the old trailhead. Along the way, it was surprising to see the amount of foot traffic on the road since the recent heavy snowfall. Glad we didn’t need to do the grunt work of breaking trail!

The report from yesterday was right about no need for snowshoes on the old trail. I used microspikes for traction and to avoid potentially sliding on the steep sections. Having good traction going up the steep slopes really sped things up. Some people are very good at keeping their balance on steep terrain without the aid of gear, not me.

See more trip photos here.

Mailbox Peak Summit

When we finally broke out of the forest into the first clearing, colorful popcorn clouds had overtaken the morning sky. Thankfully it gradually cleared up when we reached the summit. The temperature reading on my GPS was 28 degrees, but it felt a lot warmer sans the wind. The sun came out 20 minutes after our arrival as we continued to enjoy the rest of our summit stay in solitude.

Mailbox Peak continued to be a vantage point to enjoy views of both the Middle Fork and South Fork Snoqualmie River Valleys, plus the expansive Snoqualmie River Valley beyond the confluence to the west. No signs of Mount Rainier this time, as clouds in the South Cascades had completely devoured the mountain before we got to the top. Everything else was still visible; I even got a glimpse of Glacier Peak.

See more trip photos here.

Descending via the New Trail

Two men were coming up when we got back down to the boulder field. I decided to check out the new trail built in 2014 after our last visit, and I located the unmarked trail junction back in the forest. Powdery snow in the upper sections of the trail, so snowshoes came in handy. Then I switched back to microspikes on firmer snow for the last two-mile hike back to the new trailhead.

We met a total of seven people on the new trail, pretty quiet for a sunny Friday!

Heading out on the new trail
Heading out on the new trail

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Thank you for your update on the Mailbox Peak!
    I would like to know how the road condition to the Middle Fork road were.
    Did it require 4-wheel drive?
    I would appreciate if you let me know ASAP as I am planning to go to the Mailbox tomorrow.
    Thank you,
    Baram

  2. Hi Baram,

    The roads are free of snow until you get to the stop sign before turning left onto Middle Fork Road. The snow berm will prevent you from going any farther, so park before the berm and hike to the trailhead.

    Enjoy!

  3. GREAT – thank you!

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