Boulder Lake Loop Trail

MODERATE 81 reviews
#1 of 33 trails in

Boulder Lake Loop Trail is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near McCall, Idaho that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and fishing and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,633 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

fishing

hiking

lake

views

wildlife

2 days ago

We did this hike with our two little ones(5 and 7) and it was amazing. The last half mile was challenging for the little ones , but coming up to the lake changed their attitude big time. The water was warm enought that they decided to swim for a bit. Even though the trail was a bit busy, ut was fun all around. Recommend this hike to all.

hiking
11 days ago

The whole way up is packed with great challenges, up up up you go, and once you get to the lake, take it in, then get on the next trail to loop around boulder lake, I went counter clockwise, so make sure you keep a close eye on the trail, finding the right trail can be a little tricky , once I got to the other side of the lake I ended up just sticking as close to the lake as I could, much easier to see where I was going, then before I knew it I was back at the beginning of the loop, boulder lake is beautiful!

hiking
12 days ago

Loved this hike. We went clockwise, which I believe is the better choice. We had a range of kids on the hike, ages 4 to 12. The ascent was challenging, but we took a good lunch and swim break at Boulder Lake before continuing the loop.
Oh, just remember that as you come down from Louie Lake on the ATV road, you need to look for the right turn on to the “Boulder Lake Trailhead” cutoff trail. It is very clearly marked, but could be easy to fall into a “downhill malaise” and just keep following the road.

hiking
13 days ago

One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve been on. Perfect in every way. Wildflowers, lake, small creeks to cross, lots of shade. Very scenic. Had a 5-year old with us and he did fine. Lots of rocks, though, to step through.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked the full Boulder Lake Loop on over to Louie Lake today. We hiked clockwise, which I would highly recommend . When you reach Boulder Lake follow the lake trail to the right and watch for a side trail cutting uphill to the right, marked by a cairn. This is the trail to Louie Lake. It’s another climb, but worth it. We brought fly rods and caught a couple cut throat right off the shore. The trail out is mostly downhill and very dusty. As you descend you eventually end up on a gravel road and then you will see signs on trees and a sign directing you back to Boulder Lake Trailhead. Do it! You will love it!

hiking
18 days ago

Hiked the loop today, views were great. Took us longer than we thought it would take. Agree with other post that trail is not marked that great but we found are way. A thank you out to the nice people on the UTV who gave us water as we had run out

hiking
25 days ago

A very beautiful and scenic hike that I’d agree is a moderate rated trail, starting out easy and getting more moderate as you climb in elevation. There is a beautiful waterfall just off the trail on the right hand side not far from Boulder Lake itself. Can’t miss it, as you’ll be able to hear the rushing water. Didn’t have time to make the loop, but will make sure I do that next time I’m up visiting.

hiking
1 month ago

Didn’t hike the full loop, just to the lake and back. Lots of tiny streams to cross and rocks to climb on which kept the kids (6 & 3) interested. Could use a little more signage but overall a nice day hike. We will be back for the full loop the next time we visit McCall.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice trail. While rated as moderate, my kids would disagree with that...the first section of the trail (I think we did it backwards) is pretty strenuous. The first 3-4 miles. Lots of uphill followed by lots of downhill. But the views are worth the sweat. Absolutely beautiful! Enjoy this one.

trail running
1 month ago

Amazing scenery

1 month ago

Hiked yesterday great workout view of lakes are amazing. More signs would be nice trail can be confusing at time but would do it again for sure

hiking
1 month ago

Ended up on the trailhead for boulder when looking for a different trail but what I great hike! Only did the up and back instead of the full loop which is a great little day hike and really covered the whole way which will make it perfect for hotter weeks ahead. Not overly trafficked but you’re also never alone. Some parts very steep so for a quick 2 mile jaunt up there you still get a decent work out. Stunning views both of river along the way and the final lake

1 month ago

Went clockwise past Boulder and then up past Louie. The trail was clear the whole way and in pretty good shape! This is a great day hike for anyone visiting the McCall area.

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorites!

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked in to Boulder Lake weekend of 6/1 for the night. Still fallen trees to climb over along the trail, and plenty of snow to trek through along the south side of the lake. The best overnight backpacking trip within distance of the Boise area that can easily be extended to a multi day trip with use of the lakes farther along the trail (Summit, Rapid, Box).

hiking
2 months ago

We went clockwise. Between Louie and Boulder lakes there was quite a bit of snow still on the trail. Great views and trail was in good shape otherwise.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s Memorial Day weekend and we actually ended up here after not being able to find the trailhead we wanted! We made this out & back for 4 miles, but enjoyed it immensely! The trail was definitely popular and had young kids to some older adults on it, and a lot of dogs!
It was great with our dog because there were quite a few streams of water he could take a sip from along the way. The Boulder Lake still had ice on it in the shade when we arrived. Some steep sections, and, as the name implies, boulders. I would recommend close-toed shoes, but I did see folks with Chacos.

5 months ago

One of my favorite places to hike and backpack!!!!!

hiking
9 months ago

The last mile was really steep but the lake was well worth it.

hiking
10 months ago

lots of good fishing at Louie lake!

11 months ago

Moderately difficult. We went clockwise around the loop, and the elevation gain is more gradual that way. The only issue with the trail we ran across was that the turn off to complete the loop is not marked well, so we had to turn around and double back to find the right turn. Take lots of water and have fun!

hiking
11 months ago

Did the Boulder / lake Louie trail today with my husband. Bring plenty of water as once you're past Boulder Lake, very few water spots/shade. Beautiful hike but dry. Loved Lake Louie!

11 months ago

Great trail! Did it going clockwise. Only draw back is the dusty exit along an old jeep trail from Louis Lake. Lots of great views and wildflowers still out!

hiking
Saturday, August 12, 2017

hiking
Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lots of variation in this hike. Approaching the edge of the lake from below (the North East leg) was a unique experience. Lots of beautiful meadows with wildflowers in mid-Aug. The last 1/3 of the hike (SW portion of the loop) is an uneventful walk on fire roads. Keep an eye out for direction arrows or you can miss your turn.

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

One of the most beautiful trails I've hiked in Idaho. Meadows of wildflowers -- lupine, fireweed, Indian paintbrush, sulfur buckwheat, penstemon, strawflowers, wild orchids and other things I don't know the name of. Lakes on the loop are crystal clear and the trail borders them for wonderful views. The loop took us 3.5 hours with a foot soak at Boulder Lake and a lunch break. Be sure to use the record feature on this app; it saved us from potentially going way off course. The trails are more or less unmarked and it would be very easy to get lost without the tracker and a fully-charged phone.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Just returned from Idaho and wanted to share that this trail was beautiful and challenging. But only challenging because once you get to the lake, there is no sign to indicate where the trail continues, simply cairns showing the way. Well, we totally missed it. And as a result, hiked 17 miles instead of 7. Heads up to everyone--- we are experienced hikers and this happened to us. So, look for the rocks, not the sign. Even with the suffering, great trail!

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

Go early in the year to experience the runoff pools around the dam at the end of the trail. Felt tropical! Good for dogs and kids.

backpacking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

Great trip, bring lots of bug spray, too many bugs. Overall a great hike.

backpacking
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Still a ton of snow on the north side of the lake. Be prepared for trekking over large snow mounds. The trail gets covered occasionally. Snow melt made for a lot of standing and running water. Chacos or Keens highly recommended. Beautiful lake and great backpacking trip.

Load More