Thursday, July 20, 2017

Pole Creek--Photographer's Point

An impressive ride with gorgeous meadows, wildflowers, water features, stunning vistas, amazing evergreen forests.  The trailhead is easily accessible on paved road about 30 minutes from Pinedale.  It has some easy soft dirt, but plenty of rocks and mudholes.  Horses need boots or shoes unless they are super great barefoot.  Elevation goes up to over 10,000 feet and we encountered some snow patches even in July.  Probably good riding from July until the first snow. The trail starts at the car parking lot at Elkhart Park.  I have heard from several people that this ride can be extended into a loop around Miller Lake (going on from the Point).  Haven't tried this yet.  Will report when we do. At about 1 mile in, there is a turn off (not marked, except with a cairn) to "Sacred Rim".  It's about 1.5 more miles to some fabulous views.  We hiked it on July 4, 2018 and found it was passable to horses.  The trail has been cleared.  It has several stream crossings.  You will probably have to find a place to tie your horse to complete the hike to the look out top.  Here is a "Relive" of the Sacred Rim hike:

(click on any photo to open enlarged images)
Photo taken at "Sacred Rim" by Teisha Preece

Horse trailer parking at the area on top of the photo.  The bottom circled area does accommodate trailers, but I think it's for the rangers' use.  Need to ride a short ways back on the paved road to access the trail.

Riding into the parking area.  There are even a few campsites right next to it and some horse corrals.  Camping fees are $7 per night.

Topo map track of our ride on July 18, 2017.

Total mileage to "The Point" is about 5.5, making about 11 miles round trip.  Elevation change 9,281' to 10,322'.  Trail conditions:  Dirt about 30%, moderately rocky 60%, extremely rocky, 10%

View from the "Main" livestock parking area.
Paved livestock parking area.

The forests just go on and on...

And on...

The first little meadow
Most of trail was like this.

Pond at about 3.5 miles in.

Trail intersection.  Keep to the left for Photographer's Point.  About 1.5 miles further.

Pond at about 4.5 miles in
The trees are spectacular.

Looking out from the Point.   The lake in the distance is Suicide Lake.
Panorama taken of the view by Teisha Preece
The "pond" at the "Point".  It even had frogs.
Another view at the Point.

And still another....Fremont Peak.

Time to head back.  It took us about 2 hours from Point to Parking Lot.