QPR responded with goals from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Leroy Fer after making a disastrous start at Loftus Road.
There were three goals inside the opening 13 minutes, with Gary Madine and the Hammersmith-born Liam Feeney scoring for Bolton before Emmanuel-Thomas netted his third goal of the season.
The diabolical defending which has marred Rangers’ season so far was evident again when Madine was left unmarked to head in Feeney’s left-wing cross on eight minutes.
Worse followed for Chris Ramsey’s team three minutes later when keeper Rob Green was unable to hold Darren Pratley’s shot and Feeney was on hand to score.
It was just the start under-fire head coach Ramsey, who made four changes to his starting line-up, did not want.
But Emmanuel-Thomas, making first league start since joining QPR in the summer, hauled them back into the game by heading Tjaronn Chery’s cross beyond keeper Ben Amos.
Amos had produced an early save to keep out Nedum Onuoha’s header from Daniel Tozser’s free-kick when the scoreline was goalless.
He did so again to prevent Onuoha making it 2-2 after the Rangers captain was again found by a Tozser free-kick.
And Gabriele Angella headed over from another Tozser free-kick four minutes before half-time.
The equaliser arrived when Fer eventually bundled the ball home after Amos had saved his header from Matt Phillips’ cross.
Emmanuel-Thomas, playing because Charlie Austin and Jamie Mackie are both injured, has been at the centre of much of Rangers’ best work.
Tozser was recalled to the side along with Grant Hall and the fit-again Fer, with Alejandro Faurlin, James Perch and Massimo Luongo dropping to the bench.
Subs: Smithies, Perch, Sandro, Doughty, Luongo, Polter, Faurlin.