Jennifer P. on Pine Creek Lake
The 5.5 mile, 3,400 vertical-foot approach to the lake is filled with sweeping valley views and a series of waterfalls and burn areas. The reward for the long and strenuous hike is one of the most stunning landscapes in Absarokas. Get more details and photos here: www.montanatrailbriefs.com/hikes/pine-creek-lake
trail was well maintained. we brought our dog the first day and didn't make it to the lake, too many dogs off leash and some parts of the trail were too narrow for our pointer.
Returned the next day left the parking area at 1705 make it to the lake at 1915. Sunset was at 2111 and we make it to the car at 2115. Trail is a hard moderate in our opinion. 4.1 miles I don't think is accurate. we clocked just over 5 each way. Don't give up the lake is awesome fed by sister waterfalls.
Gorgeous hike, it's NOT easy, OR moderate. Beginner hikers will struggle. Lots of switchbacks. Once you hit the first waterfall, its ALL uphill from there. Took us 3.5 hours to get to the top. Experienced some snow, rain, then descended at 75 degrees and sunny.
Jeffery G. on Pine Creek Falls
Nice easy walk for the family and pets. The falls look great and is a good place to enjoy the surroundings before you turn back.
Great day hike for all skill levels even kids and dogs. I would say this is an easy to moderate hike depending on your fitness level. This is a good hike to do during the hottest summer days since most of the trail is shaded and cool. Love that you see the creek flow several times before actually getting to the falls.
This trail is beautiful but the moderate rating is a bit of an understatement. Especially when you hike up with overnight packs. The incline is pretty steep and the top third of the trail consists of mostly rocky switchbacks. There were a lot of people who were using this as a day hike but it gets much harder with overnight gear. Give yourself some extra time if you have some extra weight.
The trail is currently mostly clear. There was only one part of the trail that was under snow and it was between Jewel Lake and Pine Creek Lake.
Pine Creek is still fairly high so there are a couple times where you need to cross the water carefully. People with trekking poles or hiking sticks seemed to have an easier time. Might want to bring extra socks since we saw a few people drop in the water.
All in all, this is a beautiful hike and the views at the top are amazing. Well worth the moderate/strenuous hike. We camped at Jewel Lake and were alone. There were about five groups at Pine Creek Lake and the alpine tarn and it didn't look like there were many more spots available.