Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Jack's Mailbox Peak

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Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
Jack's Mailbox Peak (6,475 ft) is short but sweet - not only will you get great views of the SLC valley to the West, the Wasatch mountains to the East and South, but also get a great leg workout in, and is a safe peak to summit during Winter when avalanche danger is high. Though this trail is very short, the elevation gain and time spent hiking will make you think it's longer. 


This is called Jack's Mailbox Peak because there really are two mailboxes on the summit, dedicated to Jack Edwards who died from leukemia in 1995. His parents scattered his ashed on this peak, where they later placed a memorial. There are notebooks you can write a nice note in, and also a letter from Jack's mother. It reads, "Please take a moment to say hello to Jackie Jack and write a little (or long) note." The main notebook also describe Jack's journey. The mailboxes now contain several journals filled with personal and poignant entries by visitors from the past 20 years. 

Because this hike is very steep, I would not recommend it for people and/or dogs with knee and hip issues. Poles are very helpful for this hike. Be sure to bring plenty of water - especially in Summer. There is no shade, no water, no restrooms, and no fees. I don't recommend this hike in Spring or after a big rain because the trail gets very muddy.

From SLC, head East on I-80 towards Park City. Take exit 129 for Foothill Drive. Turn Right onto E 2100 S. When you come to a "T" (Carrigan Canyon Drive), turn left at park at the very end of this road (Lakeline Drive). The trail starts to the left (West) in the parking lot. You will be in a neighborhood so please drive slowly - every time I hike here there are people and dogs on this road.

Distance: 2.5 RT. This hike can be completed as an out and back or loop (which is what I usually do)
Elevation gain: 1200 ft
Time: 2-3 hours
Dog friendly? Yes. There is a sign that says dogs must be leashed but nobody does.
Kid friendly? Yes
Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
Here is what the parking area and TH look like.
Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
Right away the trail is open, and you will hiking behind some very large, fancy homes.
Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
About 100 yards or so, you will want to head right at the first trail split. There is no sign, but you want to hike basically straight up to the ridge. It should only take you roughly 15 minutes from the TH to the ridge.
Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
Panorama of the ridge. You can see downtown SLC. 
From here, head Right. 
Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
Once on  the ridge, you can clearly see Jack's Peak. But first, you will need to hike up to the "sub peak" or the cell tower.
Charlie was enjoying his hike already!
Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
Once past the cell tower, work your way down to a small saddle, then back up again.
Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
Working your way up to the peak is very steep. Thankfully the trail was mostly broken, but the last 20 ft I had to break the trail myself, in thigh deep snow! Snowshoes would have been helpful this day.
Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
On the summit! You can see the Oquirrh's in the distance, downtown SLC, and the remaining mountains of the Wasatch. In Winter, you may not be able to find the mailboxes because they are covered in deep snow. Take a minute to take in the view, and sip some hot chocolate before working your way down.
Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
Heading down, I like to take a slightly different way. When you get back to the saddle before the cell tower, there is a trail heading left (South). This will cut off having to hike up again, and skirts around the mountain the cell tower is on. It then meets up with another trail, and again, you will want to head left. See maps below for a visual.

Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
Heading down this way, you should see the two water reservoirs. The trail switches down, so that you will walk along that fence back to the parking lot.
Jack's Mailbox Peak, Jack's Mailbox Hike, Jack's Mountain
End of trail!
Hiking to Jack's Mailbox Peak, Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Compared to Winter, hiking here in the Summer is also fun during sunset. This was taken in September 2016.
Hiking to Jack's Mailbox Peak, Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Here is the map for the way you will want to hike up to the peak. I've found this to be the easiest way to summit.
Hiking to Jack's Mailbox Peak, Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 A closer view from the saddle to the peak.
Hiking to Jack's Mailbox Peak, Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
This is the way I like to descend. I skirt around the cell tower, then drop down steeply, pass one switchback, then am back at the parking lot. Again, this hike is very steep and poles will be very helpful year round, and either microspikes or snowshoes are helpful in Winter. 


Save me for later!
Hiking to Jack's Mailbox Peak, Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

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