COVID-19: At REI, we encourage you to get outside responsibly. Stay local, avoid recreational travel, practice social distancing and check ahead for area and facility closures. Learn More
Trail Run Project Logo

Boulder Falls



7.9 mile 12.7 kilometer out and back
96% Runnable


Ascent: 808' 246 m
Descent: -807' -246 m
High: 2,619' 798 m
Low: 1,840' 561 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 14% (8°)


No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Megan W

This is an enjoyable out-and-back trip to visit Upper and Lower Boulder Creek Falls.

Megan W

Features Birding · River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildlife


How often do you get hot springs and waterfalls on the same trip? This mellow run has delightful examples of both.

Need to Know

There is often nudity at the hot springs, so if you're squeamish about this just don't take the detour to the springs.

Runner Notes

Often muddy with downed trees early in the season.


Park at the end of the Elwha River Road (also called the Olympic Hot Springs Road) and follow the remnants of this closed road west for about 2.5 miles on mellow grades, hopping over the occasional stream. This old closed road is considered the Olympic Hot Springs Trail and soon arrives at a suspension bridge to cross Crystal Creek. Next pass the former parking lot which is now an alder filled meadow. At this point, you can take a detour across Boulder Creek to visit the stinky hot springs, or continue west on the Appleton Pass Trail.

The Appleton Pass Trail goes past the Boulder Creek campground which was formerly used for car camping. Now it is a run to a camping spot with pit toilets but no water source. Continue on the trail through dense forest along the north side of Boulder Creek, past the intersection with the Boulder Lake Trail. Cross the North Fork of Boulder Creek on a log bridge and listen for the sounds of Upper and Lower Boulder Creek Falls. These cascades have worn deep grooves and are worth the short side trips to visit, especially after a good rain or during the spring snow melt. This is the turn around point so spend some time exploring here before retracing your steps back to the trailhead.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Flora & Fauna, History & Background

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.


Rate This Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In



Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes


  3.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Run Rankings


in Washington


21 Views Last Month
2,190 Since Mar 16, 2015



Beautiful Olympic Hot Springs Trail Bridge.
Nov 25, 2015 near Port An…, WA
Olympic Hot Springs Trail. Olympic NP,WA.
Nov 25, 2015 near Port An…, WA
Hot Spring on Olympic Hot Springs Trail.
Nov 25, 2015 near Port An…, WA
Lower Boulder Creek Falls
Apr 2, 2015 near Port An…, WA


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running