Route: Mailbox Peak (WA)

Washington, US
9.6 mi
Vertical Gain
3,900 ft

Mailbox Peak (4822') is a very popular hike near North Bend, WA.

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 (presumably in 2012-2013?), offers a safer way for folks to attain the summit of this formidable peak. The new trail is about 9.4 miles round trip, vs. 5.4 miles for the old trail.  Either way you gain 4000'. 

Please see the image for the location of the Gate where FKTs for both the old and new trail begin and end.  Note that the Strava segment for the Old Trail is different from our FKT route, starting farther up.

This article indicates that Uli Steidl did Mailbox in 54m33s up and 33m00s down (total of 1h27m33s, but does not say if additional time was spent on top) in 2010.  This was presumably on the old trail, and is quite a bit faster than anything currently on Strava.



The strava segment linked above does not have fast times because it is a bicycle segment instead of a run segment. There are many running segments on the site, but none cover the exactly right distance from gate to summit. However, on October 31, 2017, I completed the ascent from gate to summit in 49:11.

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I'm tentatively planning to climb the new trail (gate-to-gate) this Sunday, pending travel plans working out and the air quality staying good.

Would like to point out that the FKT's listed for the new trail RT are not the fastest for this route.

Linked below you will find the Strava segment for this route on Mailbox.  The fastest times are:

Gian Dalle 1:45:42 August 19, 2018

Kelsie Clausen 2:44:20  September 16, 2017


Which gate are people starting / finishing at? The lower gate that can close access to the new, upper parking lot? Or the upper gate above the new parking lot, at the start of the gravel road? It seems the times are for the upper gate, but since there are 2 gates it makes sense to clarify.