Boundary Springs

Boundary Springs

Easy

5 miles round-trip
400 feet elevation gain
Open June to mid-November 

Left: Boundary Springs

Few rivers begin as dramatically as the Rogue. At Boundary Springs, in the dry forests of Crater Lake National Park, the river pours out of the ground 20 feet wide, rushes through a meadow of yellow monkeyflowers, and tumbles over a 15-foot waterfall. Pets are banned on park trails and camping is forbidden within a quarter mile of the springs.

The headwaters of the Rogue were buried by the eruption of Crater Lake’s Mt. Mazama 7700 years ago, when a glowing avalanche of hot pumice roared 40 miles downstream in a few minutes. Below Boundary Springs the river has managed to wriggle loose by carving a 100-foot-deep canyon into the vast debris field. Above the springs, snowmelt from the Crater Lake high country still has to percolate underground. Other than this seepage, the springs are not an outlet for Crater Lake itself, as was once believed.

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This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon.

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