quickly became lost, but eventually found the trail; Mailbox was down.
I talked with a hiker in the parking lot (70-75ish)before starting up, and he said he got turned back by rain last year. Then I ran into him on the road on the way back, and he turned around because the orange tree marks ended. I had the exact same problem near three adjacent marked trees around 3400-3450'. When in doubt, stay left, and if you lose the trail, traverse left (north) until intersecting the main trail. The attached map shows how the main trail (dotted-yellow) stays on the ridge, and heads due East.
The WTA has improved the lower portion of the trail, and added a new trail marker that warns the Mailbox trail isn't up to WTA standards. :-)
We climbed this peak with the recognition that it would present some difficulty. My partner and I made good time up the first two thirds, maybe about an hour and a half. When we broke out of the trees, the snow was about a foot thick. At this time of year, be careful in this section. We punched through to the rocks below on a couple of occasions. The water below the trail has carved out some hollows. We stopped about 200 vertical feet short of the summit, for lack of necessary gear. Perhaps it's been unusually cold this year. I would recommend crampons, ski poles, ice axe, gaiters, good parka and pants (waterproof), and extra water. This climb was difficult, as advertised, but we were not prepared for the ice, and commensurate exposure, near the top. I'll be back next weekend.
Made it to within 100 vertical feet of the summit, but decided better of it when we got on the final pitch. Wasn't 100% comfortable going up the last slope with all the new snow (waist deep drifts lower down). Amazing views none-the-less, with Seattle skyline shimmering in the afternoon sun way below. Will definately be back to tag the summit later this spring.
I was a little disappointed that the summit mailbox was missing, at the time of my first MailBox Peak excursion. I was not at all disappointed with the hike, however. WHAT A HIKE! This is an EXCELLENT training hike for bigger & more-technical summits. I was shocked how many people were on the trail at the same time as me. There was snow on the ground during the second (upper) half of the trail; those areas were quite slick in places & required extra caution during the descent.
Gareth and I are training for Kilimanjaro. We made it up in 1:50.
I was a bit dehydrated and this climb was a butt kicker. Made it to the top though. Clouds were low, but still had a rewarding view. A buddah and a bottle of whiskey were up in the mailbox.... as one climbing partner put it: we were left to choose our own way to elightenment. :)
for one hour on the summit, but instead got another surprise, RAIN . Still I made it on top (at a very slow 2 hours and 45 minutes) and got to check out the two cool mailboxes with countless junk in them.
Definitely a good steep hike. Lots of good exercise.
Carried a 40+ lb pack up to the top. Good training hike!
After-work conditioner on one of the longest days of the year. 2 hrs. 15 minutes to the top and some spectacular views. Great evening out!
Good excercise, but not that interesting.
This was an OSAT conditioner. There were about 40 people on the trail today. Somebody must have published a description in a book or something.
Good training mountain, but it reminded me of why I hate trees.
Good to be back, even in the rain. I have never seen so many people on this trail. 14 on the summit.
Only patches of snow near the summit.
I can't remember how many times I've been up here, but there have been at least two different mailboxes.
Climbed this many times with my climbing partner training for the larger cascade mtns. A great conditioner. The trail gains about 4k in 3 miles! It goes through the forest, which feels haunted because it is so dense and the trail becomes less and less prominent. Good times! Just go up, and follow the obnoxious green dots on the trees. If you want a killer exercise, pack up about 50lbs up of water, dump it at the top and RUN down! Whoooo! Legs were sore for about a week!
This is a convenient "stair-stepper" workout. Elevation gain is very balanced 3000' in 3 miles across soft forest ground. A similar climb recommended is McCellan Butte, 5150' elevation gain in 4.5 miles which is nearby across I-90.