Boulder Lake

McCall + Payette River Area, Idaho

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Boulder Lake


  • Boulder Lake Trailhead.- Boulder Lake
  • Wide trail to Boulder Meadow Reservoir.- Boulder Lake
  • Boulder Meadow Reservoir.- Boulder Lake
  • Panorama of Boulder Meadow Reservoir.- Boulder Lake
  • The trail passes through several wildflower meadows.- Boulder Lake
  • The trail passes through several wildflower meadows.- Boulder Lake
  • The trail travels through dense forest.- Boulder Lake
  • Views start to open up as the trail ascends toward Boulder Lake.- Boulder Lake
  • Large slabs of granite sit on the hillside.- Boulder Lake
  • The creek pours out of Boulder Lake down a steep granite slide.- Boulder Lake
  • The creek pouring out of Boulder Lake.- Boulder Lake
  • Dammed up Boulder Lake.- Boulder Lake
  • Panorama of Boulder Lake with Buckhorn Mountain in the center.- Boulder Lake
  • Boulder Lake.- Boulder Lake
  • Boulder Lake with Boulder Mountain above.- Boulder Lake
  • Boulder Lake dam gives the resemblance of an infinity pool with Buckhorn Mountain above.- Boulder Lake
  • Rugged granite slopes.- Boulder Lake
  • Sign near the trailhead indicating distances.- Boulder Lake
  • - Boulder Lake
Overview + Weather
Rugged granite mountain views. Wildflowers. Swimming.
Crowds. Rough access road.
McCall + Payette River Area, ID
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
692.00 ft (210.92 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,349.00 ft (1,935.18 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Hiking to Boulder Lake is one of the most popular trails in the McCall area given its relatively short distance and proximity to town. Despite its somewhat rough access road, this trail sees quite a few hikers. Two alpine lakes, which are both reservoirs, that are surrounded by rugged granite peaks and bordered by wildflower meadow entice visitors.

The trail begins in a primitive campground with scattered parking in a dirt cul-de-sac. After about a half-mile the trail opens to reveal Boulder Meadow Reservoir. The trail meanders along the northern lakeshore before climbing through meadows and thick forest via several switchbacks. Views start to open up between the trees as the trail nears Boulder Lake. A creek crossing is necessary in the early season just below the lake. The lake itself is quite unique. A dam gives the lake a resemblance of an infinity pool. While swimming, the lake's edge disappears over the dam. 

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Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

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(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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