Birding · Geological Significance · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
Getting to Pine Creek Lake makes for a long day filled with lots of climbing, but the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness delivers with waterfalls and lakes tucked into a rocky basin.
From the parking lot, the trail starts off passing through a mix of old, burnt-out forest and some thick stands of trees. About a mile in, you come to the first waterfall which is where most parties turn around.
The next mile switchbacks its way up the hill until you come to a broad alpine valley that is filled with flowers in the right season. Rock hop across the river and don't follow the trail that stays to the right. Continue pushing uphill, gaining 1,800 feet in a 1.3 miles until the trail flattens out as it hugs a pretty stream.
You arrive at the first of lakes (it can be buggy it the right season and without wind) which lies at the base of a waterfall and large stone wall. More switchbacks head up the side of the cliff until you top out at a small pristine lake. Pass along the right side to arrive at Pine Creek Lake proper.
Shared By: Russell Hobart