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Boulder Lake (Olympics)

Olympic Peninsula


Olympic Peninsula -- Northern Coast
View map below


10.2 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 2480 ft.
Highest Point: 4300 ft.


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WTA worked here: 2016

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
Road Washout: Trailhead inaccessible

This hike description starts from the trail’s beginning at the marked intersection with the Appleton Pass Trail. You’ll need to hike 3.3 easy miles from the trailhead to get to that spot. See the hiking guide entry for Appleton Pass for directions and complete description of this part of the route.

This is a well-engineered trail of moderate grade that makes its 2.8-mile switchback free ascent to the shores of green-tinted Boulder Lake. Along the way you will ramble through some great stands of fir and hemlock and take in some panoramic views to the south, including the north slopes of Mount Appleton. In late summer, you just might startle a bear raking in huckleberries in the flats just east of the lake. Be sure to bring enough water for the full distance to the lake. The lone creek that crosses the trail can be reduced to not much more than a damp smear by late summer.

Boulder Lake trail intersects with the Happy Ridge Trail about 0.1 mile from Boulder Lake (elevation 4,300) which is backed up by steep cliff and tree-studded slopes. Its waters ripple in the breezes and cast wavy green shadows on the sand and smooth rock bottom. The huckleberry and azaleas that ring its shoreline put on great reflection shows in the fall. It also makes a fine place for a refreshing swim.

There are tent sites, bear wires and a throne-style privy a long stone’s throw from the lake.


Boulder Lake (Olympics)

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.9775, -123.6861 Open map in new window


Olympic Peninsula -- Northern Coast

Boulder Lake (#57)

Olympic National Park

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Custom Correct Lake Crescent-Happy Lake Ridge or Seven Lakes Basin - Hoh

Buy the Green Trails Seven Lakes Basin/Mt Olympus Climbing No. 133S map

Getting There

Take US 101 about 9 miles west of Port Angeles. Turn left (south) onto Olympic Hot Springs Road. Stay on this road into Olympic National Park and all the way to the end. Along the way you will pass the Ranger Station, pass the turn off to Whisky Bend, cross the Elwha, pass the entrance to Altair Campground and the best overlook by a dam site. The well-marked trailhead is at the end of the road.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

National Park Pass
Road Washout: Trailhead inaccessible

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Boulder Lake (Olympics)

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