Hike to the Boca Cave & Triangulation Peak

Oregon Triangulation Peak/Boca Cave

  • Activities:

    Hunting, Chillin, Camping, Photography, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking, Rock Climbing

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    4.7 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    800 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Framed Cave View of Mt Jefferson. 360 View of the Cascade Mountain Range. View across the Willamtete Valley to Mary's Peak. Rocking Climbing Spire Rock. Camping at Triangulation Peak in designated camp sites. 4.7 miles roundtrip. Elevation gain: 800'

Triangulation Peak, Spire Rock and Boca Cave TH #3372

The trail starts on level ground where you travel east along the top of the ridge. There are multiple trees that have fallen across the trail making the hike quite adventurous. Some trees you'll go over and some you will need to go under. Depending on the time of year you go, there could snow covering the trail in some areas.  After about 1.25 miles the trail will take you on the north side of the ridge and you’ll continue to side hill towards Spire Rock. The trees open up to give some great views of Spire towering above the trees.  Rising up from the North end of the ridge on Triangulation Peak is a prominent pillar called Spire Rock. The basalt rock spire is seen from the trail easily and offers some decent and easy routes for rock climbing. The standard route climbs up from a saddle on the ridge about 120-150 feet on the SE corner. Most of it is crumbly basalt covered with lichen and moss but the route up Spire is somewhat clean. Be sure to test every hand and foothold, though. It’s questionable whether the cracks will hold your weight or shatter and splinter under any weight put on them.  Once you reach the top you’ll have excellent views of Mt St. Helens, Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson.  

After that the Forest begins to open up and you can see longer distances where there will be less ridge top bushes.  The forest floor is littered with storm fallen trees from the years of winter storms and moss covers the trunks of the tees giving them green beards.  After about 0.5 miles of side hilling the trail starts to head up in elevation and then the forest coverage returns.  The trail get narrow here and has a steep downhill side on your left. After almost another 0.5 miles the forest opens up and you can see a view of Mt Hood. After another 0.75 miles the trail splits. To go to Triangulation peak, Spire Rock and Boca Cave you’ll want to take the trail to the right.  T#3374.  The trail starts taking you up the side of the ridge where you’re now working your way to the base of Spire Rock. When you reach the base the trail will start its many switchbacks zigzagging your way up.  At the 3rd switchback you will reach the ridge top saddle. Now you’ll need to bushwhack your way to the upper base of Spire, then climb up to the mid point where you can see the route up Spire most climbers will take.  There are a few anchor points and repelling rings up top which make for a nice hike-to-climb destination.  

Once you reach the top of Triangulation Peak ridge the trail splits. Boca Cave is to the left and Triangulation Peak to the right.  When you reach the summit of Triangulation Peak you will see camp spots for backpackers and great 360 view of the Oregon Cascade Mtn Range.  On a clear day you can see Mt Saint Helens, Mt Hood, of course Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mt Washington, North and Middle Sister, and on super clear days, Diamond Peak.  After you explore the area, follow the ridge line NE and you will find a huge rock that is the home to Boca Cave. To access the cave you’ll want to look for a small trail heading south and down the mountain. The trail will bring you to the base of the rock formation, start making some noise just in case some wild animal is inside the cave.  The mouth of the cave is huge, 70-80ft. You will notice the ground will change to red volcanic cinder rock.  

Pack List

  • REI Backpack
  • Tent (if staying the night)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Water
  • Mountain House Food
  • Jetboil Stove
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Reviews

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Tried this hike on 4/15 and was caught off guard by tons of snow on the drive to the trail head. Ultimately, had to park on the forest road and walk an extra 5.5 miles in slushy soft snow just to get to the trailhead. Hoping it melts soon! Also note, my GPS system didn't note the turn-off from Highway 22 as the Forest Road. The street sign is labeled as McCoy Creek Road. Will definitely try again in a few weeks!

5 months ago
5 months ago

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