Grand opening of new Mailbox Peak Trail celebrates Middle Fork, conservation | Photos
The old Mailbox Peak trail was a daunting route.
Plagued by erosion due to its extremely steep grade, hikers routinely lost track of the trail.
Now, visitors to this iconic mountain east of North Bend will have a much better time.
Last weekend, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources celebrated the official opening of a new and improved Mailbox Peak trail, cutting a ribbon Saturday, Sept. 27, on National Public Lands Day.
The newly designed trail employs switchbacks on the north side of the mountain to ascend at a much more reasonable grade. Hikers still need to climb 3,800 feet to the peak, and the trip pays off with views into the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley and towards the crest of the Cascades. Both trails will remain open for hikers to choose which route they want to take up and down from the peak.
The trail was built by DNR, Mountains to Sound Greenway, Washington Trails Association, and EarthCorps. Funding for the trail was provided by DNR, Spring Family Trust, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, and the Federal Highways Administration.
“This is the final segment of a much-loved trail for mountain climbers and hikers alike. Whether you’re preparing for Mount Rainier or just enjoying a stroll through a beautiful area, the new trail offers something for everyone,” said Peter Goldmark, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands and Greenway Board.
“We want to extend our thanks and congratulations to Commissioner Goldmark and DNR staff for their leadership on the new Mailbox Peak trail. This trail serves as the gateway to the Middle Fork and is a great example of the type of improvements that are so needed in the valley,” said Greenway President Kurt Fraese.
The opening of the new Mailbox Peak trail is the first of many recreation enhancement projects scheduled for the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River Valley.
According to the Greenway, much work has gone into conserving and cleaning up the valley over the past 17 years. A road construction project that began this summer will be complete in 2016 and will bring thousands more visitors into the valley each year.
Learn more at mtsgreenway.org/our-work/middle-fork-snoqualmie-river.