Boulder Lake and Bonney Butte

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Because I had to work on Saturday I had today off and it fortunately turned out to be a beautiful day for a hike. So I headed up to the Boulder Lake Trailhead to do the Boulder Lake loop with a side trip to Bonney Butte.

I set off up the trail and quickly passed Spinning Lake:

Spinning Lake

Then I reached Boulder Lake, which is a very popular place to camp, but which was nice and quiet today:

Boulder Lake

I turned south and soon passed Little Boulder Lake:

Little Boulder Lake

After Little Boulder Lake a bit of road-walking on Road 123 is required. I saw some very nice fall color:

Fall color

Fall color

Fall color

Fall color

Fall color

I even saw a few larches, which aren’t that common around here:

Fall color

Fall color

I picked up the Forest Creek Trail and headed north:

Forest Creek Trail

There’s a spot where you can looking down on Boulder Lake. That’s Grasshopper Point beyond:

Boulder Lake

There were a few larches down there turning color:


Further along is another viewpoint called Echo Point. That’s Badger Butte, right of center:

Badger Butte

Then I reached Bonney Meadows where I had a view of the top of Mt. Hood:

Mt. Hood

I walked through Bonney Meadows Campground:

Bonney Meadows Campground

Then I turned north on Road 4891 until I reached the old gated spur road up to Bonney Butte and turned left. (People can, and do, drive 4891 but it’s unmaintained and ROUGH.) Just before reaching the summit I got a view of Mt. Jefferson to the south:

Mt. Jefferson

From the top there are great views of Mt. Hood:

Mt. Hood

Mt. Hood

Fall color down along the White River:

White River

Every fall HawkWatch International has people stationed up here during the raptor migration to count and band birds. They have a board where you can see what they’ve done so far this year:

Raptor count

After lingering on the summit for awhile I hiked back down. View of Bonney Meadows:

Bonney Meadows

I retraced my steps back to the campground and picked up the Boulder Lake Trail, which descends in a loop back down to Boulder Lake. More fall color:

Boulder Lake Trail

Back at Boulder Lake:

Boulder Lake

This tree along road 4880 near the trailhead looked brilliant!

Fall color

This turned out to be a really awesome fall hike. I had hiked here before, but that was in summer. Total for the day: 9.1 miles, 1300′ elevation gain.