Boundary Springs Trail is a 5.1 mile out and back trail located near Tiller, Oregon and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible from June until October.
The fire last year (2015) really did some damage but as you get to the end, and down to the river, it as green, and lush, as you could ask for. This is my second time doing this hike and I plan on doing it again next year to see how the forest has recovered. There are lots of mosquitos so, bring some good spray. If you don't want to pack in a lot of water, the river water is cold and delicious.
The other reviews do it justice enough. I'll just one important bit. BRING MOSQUITO repelant. My wife and son were bit a bunch. I think my wife got over 70 bites on her. I carried my 8 month old on my back the whole route. only in one spot had to pass her off to get around a fallen tree. It was a challenge being my first hike in years and having to carry a 25 lbs baby. Last year the fore burnt a lot of the surrounding area but right along the river it is very green and still looks amazing. Definitely use mosquito repelant before hand though.
Boundary Springs is the headwaters for the Rogue River and is located in the northwest corner of Crater Lake National Park. The trailhead is outside of the park and is isolated from the normal paved roads and activity near the lake proper. We met one other person on the trail and essentially had the entire forest and the springs all to ourselves. This is a very nice quiet and isolated hike. The headwaters to the Rogue River are more an exit point to an underground river rather than what you typically envision as true springs. Although there were plenty of those around the area, the large amounts of water exiting from underground explained why the entire trail heads parallels a significant large creek/small river. I was expecting the river to gradually taper down to a small trickle by the time we got to the springs but that never happened. It's a little surreal looking at what seems to be a full rushing river come out of nowhere from the side of a large hill. I advise taking a good topographical map of this trail as there is one point approximately 0.6 miles from the trailhead where the trail sharply branches off to a hard left. If you are not paying attention you will miss this turn off the main trail. If you find yourself hiking in a direction with the river flow, you missed the turnoff. Presently there is a small sign on a tree wrapped in a small pink ribbon to mark this turnoff. The trail is essentially flat with a minimal overall elevation gain but there are the typical ups and downs of the trail as it parallels the Rogue River. Nothing more than 100 feet gain or loss at a time. We hiked this trail in late October but there was still plenty of water everywhere. A beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the low 60"s. Perfect for hiking.
If you would favor indulging on the sight of the sapphire blue waters of Crater Lake, then Boundary Springs wouldnt be the hike for you. If you favor soaking in solitude at where the headwaters of Rogue River gushes out of the ground, then this is the hike for you. Logically, a hike to the headwaters of a river would bring you upstream. By chance, if you have come to your senses and realize you are walking downstream, you have missed the side trail that leads to Boundary Springs. Just double back and you will likely see the trail. My husband and I found the map and route description in guide books somewhat unclear. Taking along a more detailed topographical map would be helpful.