Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,031.00 ft (314.25 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Boca Cave is still a little-known jewel on the edge of the Mount Jefferson Wilderness. Its unique location allows for an excellent view of Mount Jefferson right out the cave entrance. The bonus on this hike is nearby Triangulation Peak, which affords panoramic views of Mount Hood to the north as well as Three Fingered Jack, Mount Washington, and the Three Sisters to the south.

After closely following the driving directions along several logging roads you will find the well-marked trailhead with several informational bulletins and a free self-issue wilderness permit station. The hike begins on gently rolling terrain as it crosses a ridge to the east toward the peak. After approximately 1.5 miles the trail then becomes somewhat steeper as it ascends the northwest slope of the peak via a few short switchbacks. At the first switchback you will be met with an up-close view of Spire Rock, a basalt formation jutting up into the sky.

On the summit plateau of Triangulation Peak there is an unmarked trail junction. Follow the trail to the right for the summit and unimpeded views of the Cascades. A wildfire lookout sat atop the peak from 1933 to 1967. No evidence remains of this relic. A short boot path traverses the ridge to the west and leads to a small spire for a clear view of Spire Rock to the north.

Once you've had your fill of the views from Triangulation Peak's summit, be sure to explore Boca Cave. Follow the summit plateau trail back to the unmarked junction and take the trail to the north. This trail leads through several unofficial campsites, some complete with fire rings. The trail then disperses and is clearly unmaintained. To reach the cave, follow a boot path down the northeast slope through the thick forest. A hand-written sign for Boca with a clear arrow has been scrawled into the side of one of these trees indicating you are on the right track. This trail is steep and unofficial, so take caution. Follow this trail for a quarter of a mile down the slope as it circles to the north around a giant rock formation; this is the cave itself. The trail will lead you right to its mouth.

Be sure to make your approach to the cave known to any wild animals that may be occupying the cave. Its gaping, dark mouth can be both daunting and exciting to see. After donning your headlamp or turning on your flashlight, take your time exploring the interior of the cave. It does not penetrate a far distance, but it expands to a wide, vaulted room. At the time of this adventure's reconnaissance, a fire ring existed in the cave; remember to follow the Leave No Trace principles and avoid contributing to this evidence of your presence. Follow the trail you've taken back to your vehicle.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Old-growth forests. Panoramic views of several Cascade peaks. Unique cave with a view.

Cons

Cave trail is not maintained. Rough logging roads.

Trailhead Elevation

4,800.00 ft (1,463.04 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Rock climbing
Big vistas
Old-growth forest
Wildflowers
Cave
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Mt. Jefferson + Metolius River Area, Oregon

Comments

Went yesterday. Great hike to the top of Triangulation Peak- not too steep and the payoff of the views are worth it. I would describe the best way to get to the cave is to look for a bunch of campsites/fire circles, that you notice to the left of the trail on the way up to the peak and keep to the right/east side, and you will see the path down to the cave. Because of the burn, the places where people have trekked makes it pretty easy to find. It is steep down to the cave so plan for poles accordingly.
About how long is this hike? Is it really about 4 hours from Portland?
07/14/2018
Great views of Mt. Jefferson, and the cave is nice and cool on hot days. I’m not sure I would have found the cave if I hadn’t met some people who had previously been there. The trail goes down into the burned down section of trees and then around the rock wall.
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