Titou Gorge and Hiking the Boiling Lake

Dominica Travel Blog

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Looking down into Titou Gorge

After meeting my guide and driving up to the trail head, we set out on our hike. Hiking to the boiling lake starts from the bottom of the village of Laudat. Following a path alongside huge hydro pipes, you end up at the Titou Gorge, which is so amazing. This is the gorge in Pirates of the Caribbean II that the crew jumps into after rolling down the hill in the bone cages.  It is such a cool site. It was formed apparently by volcanic splitting and has walls fifty foot high. I snapped a couple of pics and we headed on up the path, making plans to swim in the gorge on our return.

The first part of the trail is gentle as it winds along the mountainside towards Morne Nichols which is 3,500 ft.

Looking down into Titou Gorge
Walking through beautiful rain forest, you cross streams, traverse valleys, and climb steep hills leading up to the narrow ridge of Morne Nicholls at a point called Shark's Tooth Peak.  At an elevation of 3,002 ft, there are fine views of the Morne Micotrin, Laudat, Cochrane and Roseau, with the Caribbean Sea behind. Stunning!

We sat down to have a well deserved rest after what seemed like endless stairs on the trail, and had a snack and a water break. I took several photos as the view was quite spectacular. After about ten minutes, we headed on, descending steeply into the Valley of Desolation, which I didn’t find desolate at all. The landscape is alive with water as well as grey mud bubbling, gurgling, and boiling from the earth. Steam rises from several places and dissipates into the air. There is a strong smell of sulphur lingering in the air.

Looking into Titou Gorge
Minerals have been left behind by streams of water and have colored the stream beds with greys, blacks, oranges, blues, greens, yellows and browns. Yellow sulphur crystals are also covering some of the rocks.

Heading out of the Valley of Desolation, we passed by gray pools fed by hot springs creating natural hot tubs. I was too excited to get to the lake to stop and have a soak, and so we continued on. We were soon hiking through paths flanked by low but thick shrubbery as we were getting closer to the Boiling Lake. We hiked through a valley with now familiar sites of volcanic activity, like that of the Valley of Desolation. After climbing one last steep ridge, I was so excited to peer into such a natural phenomenon as the Boiling Lake on Dominica--the world’s second largest. This was the one of the biggest draws for me to visit the island in the first place and I was not disappointed. It was spectacular, with heavy steam rising up from its surface.

Swinging on a vine along the trail

The lake is about 200 feet across with 100 ft rock walls and true to its name, boiling in the middle. The water is between 180 and 197 degrees F!! The depth of the lake is about 200 ft. After having some lunch, then snapping some photos, my guide and I headed back toward the trail head where we had started the hike nearly three hours before.

When we arrived back to the Titou Gorge, I took a short rest under the roof of the changing area/ local hangout where there was a lady peddling a table of local crafts. Then it was time to take a swim in the chillingly cold water between the cave-like walls. My guide told me about a cool little water fall at the end of the gorge, so even though the water was freezing, and I am not a big fan of cold water, I was determined to make it to the end.

I swam past several local kids laughing and playing in the water, and a few tourists as well, and shortly came to the waterfall my guide had told me about.

Beautiful scenery from Shark's Tooth Peak
There were people climbing up to the top along the slippery rocks, and then jumping off the top back into the chilly water below. I watched them for a few minutes and then decided to try it out myself. When you climb to the top, there is another lovely pool of water above where there were more people hanging out. I swam around the pool a bit and then jumped back into the water running through the gorge below off the top of the waterfall--"it is not very tall, maybe 8 feet or so, but pretty powerful. After swimming back through to the entrance, my guide and I headed back to his vehicle. Before making the hour or so drive back to Rosalie Forest, he showed me a great view of Roseau near the Botanical Gardens.

 

 

 


 

 

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Looking down into Titou Gorge
Looking down into Titou Gorge
Looking down into Titou Gorge
Looking down into Titou Gorge
Looking into Titou Gorge
Looking into Titou Gorge
Swinging on a vine along the trail
Swinging on a vine along the trail
Beautiful scenery from Sharks Too…
Beautiful scenery from Shark's To…
Beautiful scenery from Sharks Too…
Beautiful scenery from Shark's To…
Beautiful scenery from Sharks Too…
Beautiful scenery from Shark's To…
Beautiful scenery from Sharks Too…
Beautiful scenery from Shark's To…
Nearing the Valley of Desolation
Nearing the Valley of Desolation
Nearing the Valley of Desolation
Nearing the Valley of Desolation
Nearing the Valley of Desolation
Nearing the Valley of Desolation
Beautiful view from the ridge befo…
Beautiful view from the ridge bef…
Hiking down toward the Valley of D…
Hiking down toward the Valley of …
Beautiful view from the ridge befo…
Beautiful view from the ridge bef…
Getting closer to the Valley of De…
Getting closer to the Valley of D…
Getting closer to the Valley of De…
Getting closer to the Valley of D…
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
Steam rising from the Valley of De…
Steam rising from the Valley of D…
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
Bubbling water from the ground in …
Bubbling water from the ground in…
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
Stream of grey water running throu…
Stream of grey water running thro…
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
Minerals in the Valley of Desolati…
Minerals in the Valley of Desolat…
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
My guide in the Valley of Desolati…
My guide in the Valley of Desolat…
The Valley of Desolation
The Valley of Desolation
Crossing the stream of hot water a…
Crossing the stream of hot water …
Natures hot tub
Nature's hot tub
Hot spring--natures hot tub
Hot spring--nature's hot tub
The last stream before hiking the …
The last stream before hiking the…
The last stream before hiking the …
The last stream before hiking the…
Steam from the Boiling Lake off in…
Steam from the Boiling Lake off i…
The Boiling Lake!!--The worlds se…
The Boiling Lake!!--The world's s…
The Boiling Lake- 198 degrees F
The Boiling Lake- 198 degrees F
The Boiling Lake
The Boiling Lake
Me in front of the Boiling Lake
Me in front of the Boiling Lake
Looking out over the city of Rosea…
Looking out over the city of Rose…
6,957 km (4,323 miles) traveled
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