“This approximately 7-mile round-trip trail is one of the most amazing runs you'll ever complete. It is breathtaking!
— Mark Brandenburg
Birding · Hot Spring · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
First - a guide is highly recommended. There are several areas along this trail where you could get lost. The trail starts at Titou Gorge, a great place for a cold swim after the run.
The outing can be broken into 3 sections: 1) Titou Gorge to the Breakfast River, 2) Breakfast River to Valley of Desolation, and 3) Valley of Desolation to the Boiling Lake. From Titou Gorge the trail ascends through the rain forest, eventually entering the Morne Trois Pitons National Park and then descending to the Breakfast River, the last reliable stop to refill your water bottles.
For the next section, you'll ascend to the peak of Morne Nichols (3,168'), the highest point on the trail. From there the descent into the Valley of Desolation begins. The valley is comprised of many fumaroles and hot streams (>94 degrees) as well as cold water streams coming down from higher elevations. As you pass through the Valley of Desolation, the trail parallels a river that combines the hot groundwater bubbling up from the Valley and the cold water streams from above, creating water warm enough, but not too warm to serve as a hot tub. Continuing across this river, the trail passes through a second area similar to the Valley of Desolation but with no specific name.
A few more minutes, and you'll reach the Boiling Lake. It is truly boiling, with a temperature over 200 degrees. Lunch is usually eaten there before the return trip back to Titou Gorge. The swim in the cold (68 degrees) Titou Gorge is absolutely worth it!! This is one of the most exciting and varied runs you'll ever complete.
Flora & Fauna
Over 1,000 flowering plants, 200 ferns, and 74 orchids are found on the island of Dominica. They have 179 species of birds, 18 species of mammals (mostly bats), 17 species of reptiles (none venomous), and 3 species of amphibians.