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Boulder Falls

Intermediate

Trail

7.9 mile 12.7 kilometer out and back
96% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

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

Grade

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

Dogs

No Dogs
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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

Overview

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.

Description

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.

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Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#3963

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
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Run Rankings

#212

in Washington

#3,963

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

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Photos

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

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