Boulder River

Darrington, Washington 98241

Boulder River

Boulder River Professional Review and Guide

"This easy 8.6-mile out-and-back day hike or backpack in the Boulder River Wilderness will take you through beautiful old-growth forest and past cascading waterfalls. Because of its low elevation, the hike can be done virtually any time of year, even in winter when the higher elevations of the Cascades are buried under snow.

The canyon of the Boulder River cuts a deep trench through the northwestern corner of the Boulder River Wilderness. Because of its low elevation, the trail along the river remains accessible to hikers year-round. In winter it’s wet, but that’s a special time to take this hike, when the high country of the rest of the wilderness, including Saddle Lake and Goat Flat near Three Fingers, is buried in white and the river is roaring with runoff."

Boulder River Reviews

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This is a well kept trail and easy hike and really beautiful walk. It takes you along a stream and you can see at least two waterfalls on the way. Romantic hike if you ever want to propose to you significant other :)
This is a great trail for those of you with spring fever and eager to get out for an overnight camping trip as early as June. I hiked all the way to the end of the trail and over-nighted, but there are bunch of camp sights right at mile one where the falls are located (great if you have kids!) Whether you choose to camp at the first stop or go all the way to the end, it's a great test trail for a new pack or gear as you can work out all the "kinks" without a lot of elevation gain or other obstacles. The scenery doesn't change much past the first mile or two so if you don't choose to go the whole way you won't miss a lot, but the camp sight at the end is a lot more private and quiet. Be prepared for any inconvenience as there is no cell reception here. Have fun!!!
Picked this trail due to its reputation as a low altitude "winter hike". Given recent snow conditions, though, we had to park just 1/4 mile up the FSR by the power lines and had to hike through 4 inch snow the 4 miles to the trail head. From there the snow got progressively deeper until it was about 2 feet deep a mile in. Slogged on for another mile to the log bridge but bailed at that point. Multipe downed trees along the way. Both falls were beautiful, amplified by the solitude and the snow all over the river rocks.
This is a short hike to a very impressive waterfall (2 miles round trip), or a longer hike along a scenic cascading river (up to 8+ miles round trip) depending on where you turn around. The falls are much taller than I expected. Boulder River which is called Boulder Creek in older guidebooks is a year-round hike, but it sounds like the trail gets quite muddy in the winter. This weekend there were a few muddy spots, but they were all easy to get through or around. There are many logs to walk across to cross side creeks and the trail is generally in good shape. The second half of the hike was a bit overgrown which would not be much fun for small children whose heads would be below the foliage, but for us adults, it was not difficult, although it made the trail hard to see in spots. There are camping opportunities at several nice camp spots along the river including the river ford camp at the end of the trail. You'll like this hike if you don't mind not having a view of nearby mountains. It's kind of a shame considering how close you are to Three Fingers and Whitehorse Mountain, but the river is a great site to see.

Boulder River Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
750 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
4 hours
Mount Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest, Mount Darrington Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Granite Falls
Local Maps