Boundary Trail Details
The west end of this trail is open to hikers only (from Bear Meadows west). The east end of the trail is open to motorcycles, hikers, horses and bicycles (from Bear Meadows east).
Catch glimpses of Mount Rainier, Pinto Rock and vistas to the south as you travel along a ridgetop cloaked in a fir forest. At approximately 4 miles, explore the short but rugged side trail Badger Ridge Trail #257 to Badger Peak. The view from the summit is superb. A Forest Service fire lookout cabin was once perched on top of this rocky peak. Take a refreshing break at Badger Lake which offers a pumice beach, cool waters and green meadows.
Follow the ridge through a canopy of trees until you break out into the open near the towering walls of Kirk Rock. Marmots inhabit the area so listen for their shrill whistles of alarm. Alternating views to the north and south await you as you make your way towards the pinnacle of Shark Rock. Beneath the crown of Craggy Peak is the junction of Craggy Peak Trail #3. Descend to Yellowjacket Pass and then climb through the forest until passing beneath the impressive cliffs of Hat Rock. The summit of Craggy Peak can be reached by following a climbers' path up the south ridge, leave the Boundary Trail at the high point where the trail crosses the saddle just east of the Craggy Peak Trail junction.
This maintained trail travels at a fairly level grade until Shark Rock. East of Shark Rock the trail makes a series of steep ascents and descents before junctioning with Yellowjacket Trail #1A (accessed on Forest Road 2810).
The overall entire Boundary Trail is 53.7 miles long and has numerous access points and trail junctions. The trail once formed the boundary between the Columbia and Rainier National Forests. Now it marks the southern boundary of the Cowlitz Valley District. This was an important trail in the early history of the Forest Service as it was the principal route used by rangers on horseback patrols. The trail was well established by 1911.
Western End Option - Bear Meadows to Elk Pass Out-and-Back:
This segment of Boundary travels along a timbered, broad ridge, with occasional views of St. Helens. Be prepared for some steep bits through here that may be loose and rutted.
Eastern End Option - Dark Meadow Shuttle:
Ride Boundary Trail #1 from the eastern end at Council Lake east. Turn right on Juniper Ridge Trail #261 and pedal through Dark Meadow to the base of the climb up to Jumbo Peak. Stay right on Dark Meadow Trail #263 and enjoy a continuous descent to FR 23.
From Randle, Washington travel south on State Highway 131 (Forest Roads 23 and 25). Veer right in 1 mile at the Y of Forest Road 23 and Forest Road 25. Follow Forest Road 25 for 21.9 miles and arrive at the trail. The trail crosses Forest Road 25 road at this point.
Due to its length and technical challenge, Boundary is often done as an out-and-back or by shuttle combined with other trails in the area. There are significant climbs and descents throughout the route.
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More Stats for Boundary Trail mountain bike trail
Altitude change834 ft
Altitude min3,818 ft
Altitude start4,116 ft
Altitude end4,950 ft
Distance climb14 miles
Distance down14 miles
Distance flat2,779 ft
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