Olympic Hot Springs, Boulder Lake & Appleton Pass

A wonderfully simple moderate day hike to a subalpine lake on a trail that passes Boulder Creek Campground and Olympic Hot Springs, the only natural, backcountry bathing hot springs in the Olympics. The trail forks at 3.2 miles where you can head to Boulder Lake or Appleton Pass and Oyster Lake.

on the trail

Olympic Hot Springs (2,061 ft)

Olympic Hot Springs is at the site of a former resort that burned down, leaving a legacy of multiple hot spring pools of various temperatures. Nearby Boulder Creek Campground originally served car campers before the road was closed to cars by a washout. Now it a great camp for backpacker's. This easy hike to Boulder Creek Campground wanders up and down until it reaches the Boulder Creek Campground. The  left fork at the trail takes you to Olympics Hot Springs. 5 miles and 400 feet of elevation gain round trip.

Boulder Lake (4,350 ft)

From Boulder Creek Campground, the right fork cuts through the huge conifer forest sprinkled with tent sites and then slowly climbs for a mile until coming to the Boulder Lake-Appleton Pass fork (2,320 ft). Take the right fork that sidehills up a moderate grade for 3 miles until it comes to the Boulder Lake-Happy Lakes Ridge fork. Boulder Lake sits underneath the heavy brow of Boulder Peak, a great lunch spot. 12 miles and 2,600 feet of elevation gain round trip

Appleton Pass (5,120 ft)

From Boulder Creek Campground, the right fork cuts through the huge conifer forest sprinkled with tent sites and then slowly climbs for a mile until coming to the Boulder Lake-Appleton Pass fork (2,320 ft). Take the left fork 4.6 miles and 2,800 feet of elevation gain to Appleton Pass and Oyster Lake.  There's a backcountry campsite at Appleton Pass. 15 miles and 3,400 feet of elevation gain round trip.

notes

  • Many guidebooks refer to this hike starting on pavement. The park has removed the pavement on the trail.
  • The Lake Mills Dam has also been removed, an incredible site in and of itself.
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking, Day Hiking
  • Snowshoeing Category: Intermediate
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: *Varies*, Easy, Moderate, Strenuous
  • Length: 15.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,400 ft
  • 5,050 ft
  • Land Manager: Olympic National Park
  • Parking Permit Required: National Park Entrance Fee
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
Map
  • Green Trails Seven Lakes Basin/Mt Olympus Climb No. 133S
  • Custom Correct Seven Lakes Basin - Hoh
  • Custom Correct Lake Crescent - Happy Lake Ridge
Activities

Upcoming Activities



Backpack - Olympic Hot Springs

Backpacking Trip
Experience one or more of the over 20 relaxing pools of Olympic Hotsprings on Saturday
Difficulty: Easy
Sat, Sep 22, 2018 - Sun, Sep 23, 2018
No Prerequisites
11 participants
Registration opens Sep 10
Tacoma Branch
Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Olympic Hot Springs
  • Boulder Lake
  • Appleton Pass
Resources

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