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Caribbean - Dominica

Boiling Lake - Image coming soon!

Boiling Lake

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15.318377, -61.294019

Overview of Boiling Lake

The Boiling Lake is located 5 miles (8km) east of Roseau in the heart of Morne Trois Pitons National Park. The lake appears like a cauldron of bubbling greyish-blue water that is usually enveloped in a cloud of vapour. The lake is approximately 200ft (63m) across and its present depth is unknown. The side of the lake are a mixture of clay, pumice and small stones. It is believed that the lake is actually a flooded fumarole, a crack through which gases escape from the molten lava below, rather than a volcanic crater. The natural basin of the Boiling Lake collects the rainfall from the surrounding hills and from two small streams which empty into the lake. The water seeps through the porous bottom to the hot lava below where it is trapped and heated to boiling point. The lake is reached by a 2-4 hour walk from the village of Laudat.

The first recorded sighting of the Lake was in 1870 by Mr. Watt and Dr. Nicholls, two Englishmen working in Dominica at that time. In 1875, Mr. H. Prestoe, a government botanist, and Dr. Nicholls were commissioned to investigate this natural phenomenon. They measured the water temperature and found it to range from 180 to 197 degrees Fahrenheit (82 - 91.5 Celsius) along the edges, but could not measure the temperature at the centre where the Lake is actively boiling. They recorded the depth to be greater than 195ft (59m). A later report indicated that apparently the water level of the lake dropped and a geyser developed in the lake's centre. The geyser spewed water and mud to 60ft (18m) and higher, building a pumice cone at its base and filling the bottom of the lake. A photograph taken in 1895 when the Boiling Lake was 'dry' showed the water level 30-50 feet below the water line. In April 1988, the lake stopped boiling. intermittently, and the level dropped by 29 feet. It has since returned to its normal conditions.

User Reviews

User profile for Vera H
Vera H.
12/26/2013
"This is rated as a difficult/strenuous hike. It's about 7 hours round trip. There are a lot of steep steps going up & down. I consider myself to be mildly in shape. My quads were definitely burning going up the steps & my knees grumbled going down the steps. I was able to make the entire hike but I did have to stop a couple times to rest & catch my breath. It also rained during our hike which made the steps muddy & slippery. I slipped on the hike back & tweaked my wrists, so be careful! There was one person in our group that had to stop before they got to the Boiling Lake, their legs started cramping up. But we saw a bunch of younger kids just running up the steep steps and they didn't even look tired. Definitely take a guide with you on this one. Our guide showed us where to get the sulphur mud to put on our faces & arms like a mud-mask. He even boiled us some eggs in the hot pools! Also, take a couple changes of clothes (rain jacket, long sleeve shirt, bathing suit & a towel). It was VERY windy in some spots & after it rained on us, it didn't feel good to be cold & wet. But we did get to soak in the warm pools on the way down, it warmed us up & got us relaxed. Made it hard to continue on the hike, haha. I only recommend going if you are in decent shape & not afraid of heights. "

User profile for Brion H
Brion H.
12/21/2013
"This is a difficult hike to get to (through Valley of Desolation), but it's worth the effort. It reminded me of a larger version of the mud pools at Yellowstone Park. You stand way above it, so you can see the entire pool, once the wind shifts and the steam clears."

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Overall rating: 3.5/5 stars [2 votes]

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  • The day the earth boiled - The world's second largest boiling lake (New Zealand has the largest), its surface churnings hint at an unstable, shuddering earth below. For Dominica, along with many of its eastern Caribbean neighbours, is volcanic...more

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Brion H. 56 
Vera H. 12 
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