Boulder Lake Wildflowers (Erik Fernandez)

Boulder Lake Hike

Discover the aquamarine waters of one of the best-kept secrets in the Mount Hood National Forest.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,100 feet
Leader: Jamie Dawson
Location: Mount Hood National Forest (carpools depart from Portland)

With old-growth forests and high mountain cliffs, Boulder Lake is one of the best-kept secrets in the Mount Hood region.

While there are several trails in the Boulder Lake area, the most satisfying and easiest to find trail is the Boulder Lake Trail #463. On your way to Boulder Lake's stunning turquoise and green waters, you'll pass dark evergreen firs and hemlocks, and a lush, high-elevation meadow.

The Boulder Lake area boasts the largest unprotected stand of old-growth in the Mount Hood National Forest, and the area's wild meadows provide high-quality fawning and calving areas for deer and elk. Mid-to-late summer, i.e now, is the best time to visit Boulder Lake, when the meadows show off their wildflowers.

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Boulder Lake Wildflowers photo by Erik Fernandez.