Famed Mountain Coaster Doesn’t Disappoint
The hype for this ride was huge. Almost too huge. But after three rides on this baby I was able to form an opinion. While I’m not the biggest wooden coaster fan, I am a huge fan of terrain coasters (and mountains for that matter). So, I was itching to get up to Connecticut and check this coaster out. While overall it didn’t disappoint, it was a bit rougher than I expected. Also, I’m glad I rode it several times because I wasn’t completely blown away on my first ride. My ride in the last seat of the last car was very rough. I was jolted so violently at one point that the lap bar came down another notch. It was relentless and thrilling, but as others have pointed out you can get a different ride depending on where you sit and the time of the day.

The climb up the lift is great as you’re immersed into green foliage and exposed rock. Kudos to Lake Compounce for not clear cutting the mountain when they built Boulder Dash. The drop is a fast, swooping drop reminiscent of almost every B&M invert or floorless coaster. I would’ve preferred a more intimidating and steeper straight drop, but it was still fun. From there on, the ride is nothing but speed and airtime as you charge back up the mountain on a pretty long trip out to the turnaround by the lake. Boulder Dash offers an excellent ride. It’s relentless and it feels about as fast as a woodie should be able to go even if it isn’t the wooden coaster speed record holder. My favorite part by far is the turn around at the lake. It’s sick! And along with some intense g-forces, the speed just seems to increase that much more. It’s almost like you hit the launch magnets from Volcano. Awesome!

I was at the park on a Wednesday and the wait was never longer than 15 minutes. Also, the ride operator had some personality and tried to get riders fired up. Both were positives. So why not a 10? It just wasn’t there for me. The rough rides and the fact that I had to deliberate between a 9 and a 10 are enough. A 10 should grab you and tell you “I’m a 10!”. There should be no question. It did however, climb my top ten defeating perennial favorites like Hulk and Volcano. At the time of this writing (Summer 2005), it sits at number 5 as my highest ranked woodie ever. Boulder Dash was great and it was a coaster that I’m glad I traveled seven hours for. Get to ‘The Lake‘ and you won’t regret it. Just know that you’re about to ride a beastFinal Rating – 9.5 (Excellent-Approaching Superior)

What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce? Leave a comment below.

About The Author

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

17 Responses

  1. Ben

    I just wanted to point out that you rode Boulder Dash in its worst season. In 2006 they began a major overhaul of the track and in 2007 it will have been completed. 2005 was a very rough year for Boulder Dash, so if you ever find yourself in the area, i suggest you visit Lake Compounce in 2007!

  2. Ben

    I had mistaken my years. I meant to say that 05/06 were its worst years. 07 was the first year it opened with the refurbished track and it will be finished for the 2008 season.

  3. The Coaster Critic

    With the re-tracking you mentioned Boulder Dash just might earn that '10'. It's good to hear that Lake Compounce believes in maintaining their rides. Thanks for stopping by Ben.

  4. Erika

    i live is southington which is like half of the amusment park. i go there very often with my freinds and have a seasons pass. we love ging on the thrilling ride boulder dash. sometimes in the night when like nobody is there we go on again and agian. the reason we do this is because we love taking differnet poses in the pictures. in the night it is also scarier because its all dark in the mountains. i love how it streches almost throught the whole park so you can see everything on the ride. and yes the did make it soo the ride is less bumpy. the only thing is if you go on the weekends at like noon the ride id totally packed!!! so you can tell its a crowed favorite. we thank you for making it the 6th best wooden coaster in the world.

  5. DG

    I only rode this once, basically testing it to see if it was Ok for my young son to ride. I love the setting, tearing through the woods at high speed, but the ride was pretty rough, not as bad as the Cyclone in Six Flags New England, but rough enough to somewhat ruin the ride. It was too much of a brain-rattler to let my kid go on for now.

    I can't remember if I was sitting in the back, so next time maybe I'll try for a seat closer to the front and see if that helps.

  6. MillenniumFan

    This is one of my all-time favorites, made even better by the track modifications they made recently.

  7. BiggaBaggs

    I was just there last week and I have to say that it was Boulder Dash that made me want to go! I was kinda scared my nephew was going to sucked out but he was ok! Me I loved the up and downs it was great!

  8. ow3n

    I never been on and am going soon. I'm not a big roller coaster fan and my friends are in a group with me and talking me into going. Will I like it . Is the first drop really bad.

    • The Coaster Critic

      Actually it's got one of the easiest drops for novices. There's not much of a dropping feeling because it's got that swooping turn. You'll love it, just expect a wild ride until the very end.

    • Mike

      Listen to the critic on this one. This is the coaster that got me into really liking rollercoasters. PLUS when you go up the lift hill you have land beside you on both sides since you are going up a (mountain) hill so it's not like you are up in the air with nothing around.

  9. @mattmcirvin

    I just discovered something about this coaster: you can clearly see how Boulder Dash really works if you look at Lake Compounce in Google Earth.

    The closeup aerial views were taken when the trees were relatively bare, so you can see Boulder Dash clearly on the side of the mountain. The first half of the coaster meanders from side to side in a lazy M shape, then goes down closer to the lakeside and back away again in preparation for the turnaround.

    But things really become clear if you move into the third dimension and look at the mountain from the side! The track is, of course, still visible, in a way it isn’t in real life.

    Since, for most of its run, the coaster hugs the terrain closely, the shape of the mountain is basically the shape of the coaster. And if you look at it from the side, you can see that those meanders are giving the first half of the coaster gigantic Shivering Timbers-level hills, just by going up the slope of the mountain and back down again. When you’re on it, you don’t necessarily realize how high up you’re going!

    What’s more, the turnaround is itself one of these big hills. And then, of course, it’s all bunny hills after that. Which is why this thing absolutely screams through the back half.

  10. Bob Whitworth

    What a terrific ride, and a fitting companion to its 1920s-era classic wooden coaster at Lake Compounce, the Wildcat. Connecticut is lucky to have these two world-class coasters. The Boulder Dash is fast, unique, and top shelf.

  11. Dru

    Does anyone know if Lake Compounce still does the cheap after 5 PM ticket?
    Thanks very much

  12. Dru

    The triple up was removed and replaced with a double up because it had become unbearably rough. In my opinion they removed the best element. I definitely missed it. The double up was good, and smooth but it’s just not the same.
    Alan Shilke of Arrow/RMC fame designed the new double up.
    I heard it was redesigned because the heavy trains were too abusive to the triple Up’s structure.
    Also of note they only run one train due to a collision in the station last season which damaged the trains.
    The new Phobia Phear coaster is down and waiting for parts due to a lightning strike last week.
    Wildcat has also been “down for maintenance”
    The evening after 5pm ticket is $25
    Boulder Dash is still absolutely amazing!
    My only regret is that they were not upfront on their website about phobia being down. I would’ve gone for the pass instead of the evening ticket had I known this because I want to go back to try Phobia.


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