Sunday, August 4, 2013
Mailbox Peak Hike
Last weekend I really needed a strenuous hike so Mailbox Peak came to mind. I have been on it six years ago and recall it being, well, just hard! It is a 3 mile one-way hike to the top of a mountain that has a Mailbox. You gain about 4,000 feet. This is a hike that people use to train for climbing the Mt.Rainier.
Few things have changed on a trail since my last time on it. All are good changes. There is now a parking lot and a restroom at the beggining of a trail. Also, there is a clearly marked sign for the trail with a warning.
You need to get a discovery daily trail pass. The trail itself is more defined and has white reflective diamonds on the trees to let you know that you are still on a trail. People have gotten lost here.The picture below shows why! There are so many roots and in some parts you can't tell which way to go.
Once you get into the open area you are greeted by the meadows with tons of wild flowers. This was one of the best parts of a hike.
We climbed to the top in 2.5 hours making couple 5 minute breaks along the way. At the top you get a 360 degree view of the cascades, Mt. Rainier and the Puget Sound. We had lunch and wrote our names in a notebook, which is kept in the mailbox. Unfortunately, one of the mailboxes that used to be there six years ago was gone. There are also more people on a trail these days.
Going back took us another 2 hours because you really have to watch your footing. Some people on yelp suggested bringing the gardening gloves - I wished I did. Also, wear hiking shoes and not sneakers like I did. Going down you really realize how far up you hiked and how steep this hike really is. Once back at the parking lot you feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I love this hike and hopefully, will come back sooner than six years.