“West Pine Creek has a few challenging climbs with awesome views.”
— Al Pendergrass
Need to Know
The Forest Service roads to the trailhead are driveable in most any vehicle as long as the roads are dry and you are careful. There is a gate across the trail one mile in. It is usually closed but be sure to leave it as you found it. Upper sections can be snow-bound until early summer. Info on current conditions can be had at Timber Trails in Livingston.
West Pine Creek trail was rebuilt after a major forest fire decimated the original trail about 15 years ago. The lower trail was rebuilt about 10 years ago and the upper sections were rebuilt a couple of years ago. The newer sections are still pretty raw in spots but the upside is that the new trail is much more doable than the original. It is still plenty steep in sections but nothing too difficult if you've been eating your Wheaties.
The first mile or so switchbacks through the old burn, ascending steadily. Shortly after leaving the burned forest for meadows, the pitch eases and the trail follows the ridgeline with the views improving as the elevation increases. At about the four-mile mark, the trail re-enters the forest, traversing both green and burnt sections. The upper 1.5 miles are pretty rocky but fortunately not as steep.
The trail ends where it intersects with the North Dry Divide #135
trail. You can either turn and reap your reward by descending the way you came or hike down North Dry Divide #135
. Both descents are fun.