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Pioneer Loop National Recreation Trail #750

 3.0 (1)
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33.6 Miles 54.1 Kilometers


6,074' 1,851 m


-5,286' -1,611 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (20°)

9,261' 2,823 m


6,136' 1,870 m


Shared By Leslie Kehmeier



Getting forecast...

A scenic, ridgetop, backcountry experience.

Leslie Kehmeier

Dogs Unknown

Features eMTB allowed


Starting at Stine Creek, the trail climbs steeply and gains a lot of elevation in the first few miles. Fortunately, this is one of the more difficult sections of the trail. It is rocky and faint around Stine Mountain.

At the top of Meadow Creek drainage, the climb levels out on the ridge of the West Pioneer Mountains. You'll get a good view of the dry forest made up of whitebark pine, lodgepole pine, and subalpine fir. There are endless viewpoints through this section overlooking the valleys and mountain ranges surrounding the area.

The trail continues west of Alder Peak, then turns south. Through this section, the route is somewhat flat with short section of steep ups and downs.

As the trail descends towards Effie Creek, the forest becomes more lush for a short section and then transitions back to dry as it reaches a saddle southeast of Shaw Mountain. From there, the trail drops quickly into a wet meadow area. There might be a chance to see wildlife here.

The trail follows the north side of Upper Stone Creek above wet, lush meadowlands and forest before climbing again to the ridge and more big views. It continues on this high route for a couple of miles before dropping to cross a wet saddle and small creek, before climbing slowly to Sand Lake, a beautiful spot below a high mountain.

From here, the route climbs a short section out of the lake basin and parallels the ridgeline to reach Baldy Lake, sitting at the base of a steep, slide rock slope. Look for mountain goats here as they can often be seen on the ridge above Baldy Lake. The trail levels out and passes through meadows and pine forest to reach Schwinegar Lake.

Just east of Schwinegar Lake, the trail heads down Lacy Creek, passing a few wet meadows. You'll navigate a few switchbacks down the side of the drainage for the first mile, then level out as the trail reaches its terminus at Lacy Creek Road and trailhead.


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  3.0 from 1 vote


in Wise River


  3.0 from 1 vote
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18 Views Last Month
467 Since Aug 11, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

You could have said that your description is directly from a Forest Service information sheet found here rather than insinuating you rode this:… the information is inaccurate for biking as the trail is mostly hike a bike and in trees with limited views as well as many stream crossings, ups and downs (not level at the top). Also downed trees and marshes. This is not even close to intermediate and perhaps not a mountain bike and cows. Shouldn't you have to have ridden the trail in order to post a description? if you want to do this ride, be prepared for bike adventure and bring a filter/food and bear spray and maybe a sleeping bag (14 hrs for 33 miles?) Jul 13, 2018

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