An entertaining game finished one apiece as a goal on the stroke of half-time denied Charlton what would have been three vital points in the north-west.
With both Sheffield Wednesday and Yeovil Town dropping points, a win would have pulled the Addicks clear of the bottom three with space to breathe over Christmas.
But Yann Kermorgant's early strike was cancelled out by Kevin McNaughton – his first goal for five and a half years.
And despite the pendulum swinging between both sides throughout, neither could capitalise to earn all three points in Greater Manchester.
Chris Powell made three changes to the side which lost to Derby County in SE7 the previous Saturday. And the major news was the inclusion of Chris Solly.
The reigning Player of the Year started his first game since the 2-2 draw at Barnsley on August 17th much to the joy of the travelling Addicks faithful.
With Solly slotting into his regular right-back berth, the dependable Lawrie Wilson shifted forward to the right-wing.
And with Danny Green reverting to the bench, Simon Church returned after missing out against the Rams as Powell returned to a traditional 4-4-2 formation.
Meanwhile, Richard Wood replaced Dorian Dervite in the heart of the defence for the first time since he suffered injury against Wigan Athletic in late October.
After a flat opening five minutes, the Addicks came alive in the sixth to produce the game's first opening.
When Kermorgant controlled well he chipped a delightful ball over the top of the Trotter's defence for the advancing Wilson.
But as he eyed up goal from just inside the box, Wilson's half-volley bounced harmlessly past the left-hand post.
Four minutes later, Charlton threatened again.
And it was the same two involved again as Wilson's buccaneering run down the right saw him end up central to Andrew Lonergan's goal.
But with the ball on his left-foot he was reluctant to shoot, instead opting to square the ball to Kermorgant whose effort from the edge of the box saw Lonergan getting down low to his right to scramble away for a corner.
The big French striker was looking dangerous in the early exchanges and from the resultant corner, he got his reward when the Powell's men took a deserved lead.
When the initial set-piece was cleared away as far as Rhoys Wiggins, the left-back delivered a low cross for Kermorgant who wrapped his weaker left foot around the ball to send it into the bottom corner of the net and send the hardy travelling souls down the other end into early raptures.
The Addicks were knocking the ball around with impressive verve as Bolton were struggling to catch up.
And the crowd at the Reebok Stadium showed their displeasure with sections of the home support booing as early as the 17th minute when Charlton came close to doubling their lead.
Cameron Stewart pumped a ball in from the left which sailed over Bolton's defenders and into the path of the unmarked Wilson at the far post.
But misjudging the flight, and bounce, of the ball, he sent his half-volley well over the bar from an extremely threatening position.
Shortly after, Bolton began to find their feet.
Neil Danns blazed over from distance after 25 minutes to provide the Trotters with their first sight at Ben Alnwick's goal.
And three minutes later the Addicks gifted the home side a golden opportunity when Wood and Dale Stephens got their wires crossed to allow Chris Eagles through.
Fortunately though, the former Burnley winger could only fire straight at Alnwick as he entered the box.
Lee Chung-Yong saw a header, provided by Eagles, beat the Charlton stopper moments later but Morrison was on hand to boot clear as the game began to stretch.
Kermorgant's extremely hopeful first-time effort from all of 30-yards was not enough to worry Lonergan while back at the other end Lee sent a wild effort from similar range high into the stands.
Lee was proving to be a real threat for the home side and he was involved again when he was on the end of a defence-splitting pass just before the break.
Receiving the ball, he crossed for Joe Mason who, when side on to goal, attempted a skilful flick of the heel which Alnwick was equal to.
Bolton were enjoying the better of the latter stages before the interval and on the stroke of half-time, they were level.
McNaughton received the ball on the edge of the box and as he exchanged control back and forth between his right and left feet, he finally bent a shot into the top right corner which left Alnwick with little chance.
With that the two sides entered their respective changing rooms with a second-half ahead of them which was impossible to predict after such an open first-half which included plenty of chances for either team.
Come the second period, the sensibilities of the first were still in place with action swinging from end to end.
With 52 minutes on the clock, Alnwick produced a fine save to keep out Mason whose header from a McNaughton cross looked certain to be arrowing into the bottom corner until the Addicks' custodian intervened.
Whilst Alnwick was performing heroics in front of one goal, Lonergan fancied following suit in front of the other.
As Stewart's cross fell between both Wilson and Kermorgant on the right-side of Wanderers' box, the Breton striker stuck out a boot to poke the ball towards the top right-hand corner. But Lonergan flew to his right to tip the ball over for a corner.
The Addicks yelled for a handball on 67 minutes when Church's attempted delivery from the right seemed to strike a Bolton hand from close-range. Referee Philip Gibbs waved the appeals away and, whilst you have certainly seen such decisions given, it's fair to say that on this occasion a penalty would have been harsh.
Charlton would come close immediately after, however, when Jordan Cousins slipped past his marker.
His ball in was to Church who faced a race with Lonergan to get their first, and it was the 'keeper who ran that race as he bravely blocked the Welsh international sustaining a knock for his troubles.
Solly drew breath from the away support when he came close with 15 minutes remaining.
With Stewart seemingly mishitting his cross, it skewed to the right-back on the edge of the box. Taking a touch, his volley took a deflection (unseen by the officials) as it hared just wide of the post and inches away from what would have been a dream return to the starting XI for the fans' favourite.
Bolton had the last word as the clash began to peter out.
A goal mouth scramble saw the Addicks clear up and clear before Mills headed just over for Dougie Freedman's men.
And deeper into injury time, Trotters' captain Jay Spearing's effort from distance dipped only just over the crossbar meaning both sides would have to settle for a share of the spoils.
Although there would be no Christmas cheer for Charlton, it remained a well-earned point as Powell's side put in yet another decent performance which could well have yielded more.
Charlton: Alnwick; Solly, Wiggins, Morrison, Wood; Wilson, Cousins, Stephens, Stewart (Dervite 91); Church ( Evina 83), Kermorgant.
Subs (not used): Pope, Hughes, Green, Pritchard, Cook.
Booked: Wilson 62 (foul on Eagles), Morrison 72 (obstruction).
Goal: Kermorgant (11)
Bolton: Lonergan, McNaughton, Mills, Ream, Baptiste, Spearing, Danns (Hall 83), Moritz, Lee (M Davies 73), Eagles, Mason (Beckford 79).
Subs (not used): Lee-Barrett, Knight, Pratley, Medo.
Booked: Spearing 85 (foul on Stewart), Hall 94 (foul on Wilson).
Goal: McNaughton (45)
Referee: Mr Philip Gibbs
Att: 14,923 (327 from Charlton)