Boulder Lake – 13.3mi / 21.4km
Beautiful Boulder Lake sits beneath the dramatic ridgeline of Boulder Peak. The old road to Olympic Hot Springs makes for easy walking as you work your way up through the forest, crossing numerous creeks along the way.
Remnants of an old, vehicular bridge have been replaced by a small, wooden footbridge at Crystal Creek. Climb up to the junction and stay right for Boulder Lake. A left takes you to Olympic Hot Springs (see Olympic Hot Springs for description).
Travel through the old auto campground and continue as the trail cruises through the open forest of old growth trees. Numerous feeder streams cut across the path as you gradually climb. Stay to the right at the junction with the Appleton Pass Trail. The trail’s grade significantly increases, climbing up through the varying forest to the basin containing Boulder Lake.
The area opens to meadows along the shoreline with a variety of places to enjoy the lake backdropped by Boulder Peak and its rocky ridgeline. This can be turned into a large 18.8mi/30.2km loop with the Happy Lake Trail by taking the Happy Lake Ridge Trail to Happy Lake (see Happy Lake for description), dropping to the trailhead, then closing the loop by walking the road back to your car.
Trailhead: Turn onto the Olympic Hot Springs Road from Hwy 101, 9 miles west of Port Angeles. Follow the road 10 miles to trailhead at the end.
Elevation Gain: 2,500ft / 750m – Elevation Loss: 2,500ft / 750m