The old trail to Mailbox Peak was legendary for its difficulty—and for the number of injuries and rescues it led to each year. The steep trail ascended some 3,800 feet in two and a half miles over rocky terrain, posing a serious challenge to even seasoned hikers.
Due to heavy foot traffic on this popular hike, overuse of the trail began to create heavy erosion. Concerned about the risk to hikers and the expense of frequent restoration work on the trail, the Department of Natural Resources used a series of WWRP grants to create a safer route to the summit. The updated and renovated trail is more accessible to hikers of different levels, although beginners are still recommended to work up to a hike of this difficulty. The investments reduced erosion of the landscape and damage to the trail, improved safety, and expanded access to what remains a popular, yet challenging, hike.
Learn more about Mailbox Peak on the Washington Trails Association website.