I feel a little bit bad about my Seattle Freeze post, but when I met up with a friend that has lived here for 5 years, our conversation turned to the so called infamous freeze in about 5 minutes. Then, we started talking about hiking.
Geographically, I like the Puget Sound region because it has water views from nearly every elevated point, and to the west and east of us are magnificent - and accessible - mountain ranges: the Cascades and the Olympics. It's really gorgeous. I love that the outdoors is a short distance away. On a recent hike to the North Bend area, the hubs and I used the Washington Trails Association hiking database and found a hike for Mailbox Peak.
The Mailbox Peak trailhead is located in the Snoqualmie/North Bend area about 45 minutes on I-90 E from Seattle. Since we did the hike in late April we enjoyed a rare sunny and pristine day. The hike was grueling.
Evidence of grueling hike. This is a formal warning at the trailhead.
It's about 2.5 miles up, with about a 1500 ft elevation gain in a mile. So you literally climb 4000 ft on a trail that only goes up and up and up. At the first summit, the hike begins to over look the Puget Sound area, and the higher elevation gives a pristine view of the top of Mt. Rainier. Looking towards Puget Sound, you can just barely see Bellevue and Seattle, and the entire valley.
Cool emo hipster shot of the valley.
I thought I was in decent shape until that hike. There was too much melting snow once we reached the rocky crown, so we ate lunch, enjoyed the views, read a bit, sunbathed, and then hiked down, missing the opportunity to add our names to the ledger at the top of the mountain. At the top is an old mailbox, and when you reach it, you put your names in the notebook which sits in the mailbox.