Mailbox & Dirtybox Peaks

MB: 4,841ft DB: 4,926ft

6.4m 4,500ft gain

The old trail up Mailbox Peak is another Washington rite of passage. It’s extremely popular and offers a solid training ground for bigger adventures. You’ll gain 4,000ft in 2.5 miles on the tightest switchbacks you’ve ever seen. What most people don’t know is Mailbox is a sub-peak to Dirtybox Peak half a mile to the east. The short addition is must!

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1st Trip: 6/7/17

After getting back from 2 weeks in Alaska Ellie and I wanted to get our Washington mountain fix on. To avoid the crowds we went during the week after work. It’s no easy trail but compared to Alaska it’s quite nice and well maintained.

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We crushed it and enjoyed a well deserved cold one at the summit. It was cool looking through all the knick knacks people leave in the mailbox.

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What wasn’t cool was the 45lb weight chained to the mailbox advertising for someone’s insurance company. Thankfully two guys who were right behind us came up with bolt cutters and took the weight and chain back down with them. Those guys rock!!

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At this time I wasn’t familiar with Dirtybox Peak but we noticed the route and scoped it out before heading back down the trail.

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2nd Trip: 7/24/19

Came back 2 years later to tag Dirtybox Peak and test my stamina. Of course it was a weekday afternoon. The wildflowers were blooming, especially the bear grass.

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Without stopping I made it up the 4,000ft and 2.5 miles in less than 2 hours.

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I wasn’t alone at the summit!

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From there it took about 30 minutes to walk/scramble the half mile to Dirtybox Peak. I got soaked thanks to the damp overgrowth but it was worth it. The summit is mostly forested but it offers a great view back to Mailbox and you won’t see another person.

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Finally took a break before retracing my steps. The little traverse adds 500ft of gain and is quite fun as you scramble back to Mailbox.

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The better view is certainly from Mailbox but the other box offers some added fun! The wet fog began to lift right as I was heading down. Took just over an hour to walk/jog back to the trailhead.

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