Pine River and Los Pinos River Trail is a 27.1 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Bayfield, Colorado that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.
Very easy and pretty hike to the river
My sister and I did a 3 day, 2 night backpacking trip on the pine River/emerald creek trail back in mid-May. It was our first backpacking trip, and it was great for both of us!! We hit a lot of snow about 6/7 miles into the emerald creek trial, so we turned back earlier than expected from that trail. (Side note: it definitely hit freezing that first night). However, turning back from emerald creek and continuing on pine River wound up being a blessing in disguise because the Pine River trail is beautiful!! And lower altitudes so no snow. There was a pre-made campsite up on a little hill that overlooked some beautiful mountains. To sum up: UNREAL first backpacking trip. Would love to do these trails again in the summertime.
Forgot to rate it. 5 stars!!!
Just experienced Pine River Trail and it was fantastic. Very green and beautiful. We were heading to Emerald Lake but the incline of elevation was very long and high. The trail starts out at about 8000 elevation and inclines to about 10000 elevation. The trail is very rocky but manageable to hike on with beautiful scenery and plant life. We got half way and camped out at a campsite along the Pinos River. It was sooo beautiful and relaxing, caught a brown trout and ate it for supper. There was a groupimg of bear poops in our campsite but we saw none come around at the time. Awesome trail altogether, I wish we could have gone further to Emerald Lake.
We actually came from the Rock Creek Trail (started at Vallecito Campground-Vallecito Creek Trail (14 mi) north to Rock Creek Trail (East about 6 miles) to Flint Creek trail south to Pine River Trail south. We entered the Flint Creek trail at Flint Lake.
A strong suggestion, if you take this loop, do not start at Pine River and go to Vallecito. Start at Vallecito and go around. It looks to be much easier.
Flint lake is majestic and beautiful. The trout (brown and brook from what I caught) are huge. We caught 12 to 18 inchers. Fantastic fishing.
The trail east on Flint Creek was above treeline for the first 1-2 miles. The views of the Continental Divide are fantastic. The trail is rocky but well maintained. The trail goes down in elevation aggressively. We were more than happy to be going down, not up this trail.
Once we entered the forest, we saw a elf-like forest, it was so moist and fertile. So much green plant life.
There was a creek crossing that was a little tricky. We thought the trail stayed on the north side, when in fact, the trail crossed the creek. Just look for the trail on the other side of the creek. It's not apparent immediately, but it is there.
One Flint Creek, joins Pine River Trail, the canyon really opens up. There are several nice camp sites at this trail intersection as well. The Pine River Trail is a very gradual downward slope to the trailhead. It is definitely rated easy even though it gains over 1600 feet just to the Flint Creek trailhead. The trail is at times, very rocky, but manageable. There are several waterfalls on the east side of the canyon that are fantastic views.
We had 2 bucks and a doe in our campground the last night. We also had a fox in the campground early in the morning looking for scraps-none here.
If you camp above treeline in the Flint Creek to Rock Lake area, watch for marmets that will literally eat the rubber off your walking poles. Put everything in your tent at night or it will be gone in the morning. No joke.
Rained (as usual this time of year) 3 of 4 nights. One night we had hail.