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Now I Fly
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Now I Fly
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PostFri Jan 06, 2023 10:24 pm 
If your bucket list has gone dry and you're looking for a long day near town and you like to be alone.... Naugh, I still can really recommend this one, but I like most of it. Parked at the Lower Mailbox parking lot, then walked the road to the Granite Lakes Connecter Trail.
Started the day by walking the Middle Fork Road to the Granite Lakes Connecter trail
Started the day by walking the Middle Fork Road to the Granite Lakes Connecter trail
The Connecter trail is currently in need of a little TLC. Mainly small work, but a couple larger blowdown too. Follow the trail until you're at, or near the new Granite Lake's trail and head up hill and gain the ridge.
Where I left the Granite Lakes Connecter Trail.
Where I left the Granite Lakes Connecter Trail.
This trip I cut the corner a bit, following game trails on the west side of the ridge. This worked well with zero brush for the first half mile or so. After crossing an abandoned road, I took the path of least resistance, continuing west of the ridge. The route steepens and you have a couple choices through a short but steep band a rocks, no big deal. Just above the rock band you'll pop out on the ridge. You'll be above the Zorro Point viewpoint.
Looking back (and down) during the middle third of the route.
Looking back (and down) during the middle third of the route.
bonus points
bonus points
Typical traveling during the middle third of the route.
Typical traveling during the middle third of the route.
The middle third of the route might be unpleasant for some.
The middle third of the route might be unpleasant for some.
Once on, or near, the ridge you basically stay with it all the way to the Box. You'll pass a second abandoned road coming up from Granite Creek (on your left). It's a good route to know about, for straight forward traveling to the creek (after an initial washout that can be bypassed on the uphill side).
Fine traveling snow on the upper third of the route.
Fine traveling snow on the upper third of the route.
First view of the top from the North Ridge
First view of the top from the North Ridge
Higher up on the ridge small trees are a nuisance. I brought my loppers along on this trip. Chop-chop. agree.gif I put on crampons and pulled out the axe around 3,500 ft.. The morning's blue skies had left me, and the easterly wind began to howl. So much fun!
The Middle Fork from the North Ridge.
The Middle Fork from the North Ridge.
Mailbox summit from the North Ridge
Mailbox summit from the North Ridge
The Web's and Dirtybox, from the North Ridge of Mailbox.
The Web's and Dirtybox, from the North Ridge of Mailbox.
Nearing the top on the North Ridge.
Nearing the top on the North Ridge.
Mailbox summit from the north.
Mailbox summit from the north.
There are a few interesting sections as you make your way to the top. Experience with steep snow and knowledge of avalanche conditions should be considered this time of the year.
the box!
the box!
Trucked down the Old (old) trail for the loop.
North Ridge of Mailbox Loop
North Ridge of Mailbox Loop
stats, 9 miles 4,000 ft. elevation gain Moving time 5+ hours Elapsed time 8+ hours equipment Mountaineering Boots Crampons Axe Poles Mircospikes Snowshoes (didn't use) Loppers Hand saw. Cheers, B!

Fedor, SpookyKite89, awilsondc, puzzlr, zimmertr, JimK, Bramble_Scramble, The Ghost of Bear 380, RichP, williswall, reststep, KascadeFlat
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RichP
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PostSat Jan 07, 2023 3:50 pm 
Cool route. I seem to recall puzzlr doing the same hike a while back. Good way to get to the wild side of Mailbox.

Now I Fly
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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Jan 07, 2023 4:21 pm 
I have done the North Ridge up from Granite lakes on the old switchbacking road I which well up mailbox back in the day(a friend used to target shootout there when drivable). We tried biking up there but the “decommissioning” made the route impassable walking from the end of the road was up the ridge and scrambley to the summit of mailbox with lots of logs to climb over. It would be a good trail if improved.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn

Now I Fly
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Now I Fly
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Now I Fly
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PostSat Jan 07, 2023 9:07 pm 
RichP wrote:
I seem to recall puzzlr doing the same hike a while back.
Yes! We did it as a shuttle, starting at the new Granite Lakes trailhead after leaving a ride at the Mailbox parking lot. Peguino, joined in on the fun that day also. :-)

RichP
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puzzlr
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PostSun Jan 08, 2023 2:36 pm 
I don't think that old Granite Creek trail gets much use anymore now that the new trailhead and shorter approach are in. I wonder how much effort will be put into keeping it open.

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Fedor
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Fedor
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PostWed Jan 18, 2023 6:42 pm 
I hiked the north ridge up to Mailbox last Summer. I was surprised by the amount of flagging I encountered. I pulled everything down that I saw. It was old and disintegrating. That route is obviously seldom traveled and covered in deadfall / blowdowns. If you're hiking there, I think you ought to be able to easily follow the ridge up. https://caltopo.com/t/PP4T2AGK4N

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Fedor
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Fedor
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PostWed Jan 18, 2023 7:04 pm 
puzzlr wrote:
I don't think that old Granite Creek trail gets much use anymore now that the new trailhead and shorter approach are in. I wonder how much effort will be put into keeping it open.
I thought DNR was planning on building a short connector trail from Mailbox's parking lot to it. Do you know if that is still supposed to happen?

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Bramble_Scramble
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PostWed Jan 18, 2023 11:06 pm 
Fedor wrote:
I've been interested in this ridge of mailbox for a while but I figured I would hit the mines first. I suppose this route avoids an unbridged second crossing of Granite Creek. Sorry to change the subject but real quick question. Seeing this map brought up a question of Green Mtn accessibility. The last time I took the route up from Abosolute Last Promontory was about 10 years ago. The route was not very visible and covered in downfall. We turned around due to very steep icy snow in the woods. Has is actually evolved into a boot beaten trail and if not, what exactly are they going to waste money on"decommissioning? " Should I go for the summer this spring before it potentially gets annoying?

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puzzlr
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PostWed Jan 18, 2023 11:50 pm 
Fedor wrote:
Hey, you found the Mailbox museum! In 2013 on a beautiful day I spent some time scouring the area all around the peak and gathered all the junk I found in one place. I wonder how much is still there. Pulling that heavy fire hydrant up a steep section was tough! BTW, the names on it commemorate 9/11 firefighters.
2013 Mailbox museum
2013 Mailbox museum
Fedor, there was a final decision notice mailed out on July 7, 2021 that changed the proposed stuff on that map. Re the connector trail it said the following, which makes me think it will happen, but later. Phase 2a: Develop “Mailbox to Granite Connection (0.25 mi).” Project funding is tentatively secured. Bramble_Scramble, I had the same thoughts when the proposal came out and I submitted comments that 1) Most people hike that peak in the winter so a trail is irrelevant 2) The trail is poor and hard to follow and 3) In not too many years trees will obscure the view from Green make it a less desirable climb. I suggested they not waste time decommissioning the summit boot trail (or the conveniently placed Sitka Spruce trail). The decision notice said the following which makes me think they're not going to physically remove the Sitka Spruce trail or the Green Mountain summit boot trail any time soon. Phase 1a: Decommission and restore “West Green Mtn Summit (1.2 mi),” “Main Green Mtn Summit (1 mi),” and “Spruce Trail (1.2 mi),” totaling 3.4 miles of non-designated trail decommission efforts. Continue field monitoring of decommission and restoration efforts, allocate resources and leverage partnerships for assistance with labor, signage, education and enforcement, and external communications and messaging with partner organizations, to ensure success of closure efforts over time.

Mid Fork Rocksflickr

Now I Fly, Fedor, Bramble_Scramble, zimmertr
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