Service on King County Metro’s shuttle bus to hiking trails, Trailhead Direct, has been well underway since late April, starting with a route to the Issaquah Alps and adding another to Mount Si and Mount Teneriffe. This weekend, June 16, the service will add a third destination: Mailbox Peak.
Unlike the other buses, this route doesn’t carry passengers all the way from Seattle, though—hikers have to get to North Bend on their own, where Twin Falls Middle School is serving as a kind of temporary park-and-ride. Still, it makes parking a car a little easier and safer, since parking lots can fill up on weekends and lead to a lot of circling (and emissions). The bus can carry up to two bikes, and takes dogs at the operator’s discretion.
Mailbox Peak is one of the area’s most popular hikes, and is on our list of essential Seattle-area hiking trails. It’s named for, appropriately, a mailbox at its highest point, installed some point in the 1960s.
From the middle school, it’s about a 10-minute ride to the trailhead. The first bus leaves for the trail at 8:00 a.m.; the last one back from the trail leaves at 6:10 p.m. And since you’re already in North Bend, you can use the opportunity to participate in some Twin Peaks tourism; some of the series’ most iconic locations, including the Double R Diner, are located in the town.
Want hikes you can get to without a personal vehicle? We explored 10 hikes you can get to car-free from Seattle, including through the other Trailhead Direct routes.