Fond Cani, Dominica

Hike to Boiling Lake

8 Miles Total - 1350 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Daina Buchner

Hiking to the world's second largest boiling lakes is one of the best ways to experience the rainforest of Dominica, but also one of the most demanding hikes on the island. It will challenge you both physically and mentally.

This strenuous eight-mile round-trip hike starts at about 1,600ft near Titou Gorge in the middle of the rainforest. It requires a high level of fitness, endurance, and unless you are familiar with the terrain, a guide (highly recommended). You will do a lot of up and down as you gain altitude and stream crossings with stepping stones. Starting with a steady climb through the rainforest for the first hour to 1,700ft, you then quickly drop 100ft to 'Breakfast River', a great place to refill your water bottle and have a snack.  After this point it's about another hour to the highest point of 2,950 ft. The trail flora transitions into low laying brush and the extreme up and down rhythm begins.  The trail is well maintained so it is generally clear of debris and some steep climbs consist of steep stairs (repurposed fern logs) rather than a slick scramble up the side of a hill.  Some areas require you to make use of the trees and roots on the hill side to go up or down. If it has recently rained ( a good chance in Dominica) then it will be slick and muddy in spots. Cold springs that you can fill up your water bottle and hot springs that you can relax your muscles in snake along the route. The most tricky part of the hike is in the Valley of Desolation. If you don't know where to step you can very well break through the ground and wind up stepping in a vat of hot water and needing an airlift rescue due to instant burns. The smell of sulfur and humidity is thick in the air in the Valley, but this means you are close to the end point of the world's second largest boiling lake. The Boiling Lake is just that, not a swimming lake. The greyish-blue lake is often shrouded in mist, but winds help clear it away.  Make sure you travel light for this hike. Bring plenty of snacks/food to keep your energy up and fill up your water bottle at cold springs you come across. End your hike with a swim in the refreshing waters of Titou Gorge. 

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Hot Springs


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Overall rating: 

Stuart Yee

almost 3 years ago

Favorite Hike in Dominica

I've explored several places in Dominica, but Hiking to Boiling Lake was unlike any of the other hikes I have done! The changes in scenery are just astounding! In order to get to Boiling Lake you hike in the rainforest, hot springs, mountains, and rivers. It definitely is a difficult hike that requires endurance and stamina. There's a lot of uphill hiking and river crossings, which can especially be slippery when it rains. Once you get to the Valley of Desolation and then see The Boiling Lake, all your suffering becomes worth it! Overall this hike took my group about 6 hours to hike. We also used a guide which is highly recommended and he made our hike much more entertaining!

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