Boulder River

Arlington, WA
Length: 8.60 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

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This is a great hike for families of all ability levels. Although the trail is 8.6 miles roundtrip, there are two waterfalls in the first 1.5 miles from the trailhead and a great turnaround spot if you’re finished hiking. Total elevation gain for the whole trail is 700 feet.

Approach the trailhead slowly to ensure avoiding the many potholes along the roadway. Parking can be crowded on the weekends, so get there early. The trail, formerly an old logging road, is a nice, wide trail with a very gentle grade. You hear the river crashing below before you see it a mile in. Navigate under and over fallen old growth logs that block the trail periodically, making it a fun challenge for the kids. At 1.1 miles you see the first large double waterfall, but the bank is incredibly steep, so proceed with caution. This makes a great turn around spot if you’re aiming for a shorter hike.

If you choose to continue, you will arrive at a switchback. The old growth forest is more noticeable here. The second large waterfall is 1.5 miles in, and after that the trail begins to climb away from the river. The trail becomes a little more challenging after this, with more mud, roots, and rocks to contend with. It will eventually level out again and ends at Boulder Ford, a nice spot along the river to eat and wade.

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Trail Features

Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception None
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Mud Puddles, Picnic Area, Shaded Hike, Viewpoint, Waterfall, and Wildlife Viewing

This trail has a couple of downed trees that are fun to go under and climb over. There are also so many amazing waterfalls to view from up close and from far away.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

Watch for potholes on the road! The parking lot fills up fast, so once the small ten car lot fills up, park anywhere along the road.

Trail Contributor

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Hello! I am a former Journeyman Wireman turned stay-at-home mom to my four beautiful children. After growing up in the hot desert of Las Vegas, we decided to make a change and move to beautiful Snohomish County WA. I found my community here through Hike it Baby, and I now work to facilitate that for others. If you’re ever in my neck of the woods, come join me on a hike!