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Length: 10.5-miles (one-way)
Trailhead Facilities: Vault toilet and horse trailer parking lot
Short Trail Summary: This hike description is to the Pine River Trail No. 523.
At one time this trail could be traveled to the corner of fenced private land via vehicle but that access has been lost. This is the old Piedra Stock Driveway.
Instead, begin at the trailhead and initially descend nearly 640-feet to the Weminuche Valley. Soon, skirt the ranch fence and the junction with Hossick Creek Trail No. 585. Continue straight and shortly reach the Shaw Creek Trail No. 584 coming in from the west. Again, continue straight. Views of 3,000-foot layered cliffs will be seen at 3-miles and the crossing of Milk Creek. Ascending to a bench with valley view. Dying spruce forest becomes more evident near the mouth of the Weminuche Creek East Fork at 6.5-miles. Our trail heads west and at 7.3-miles reaches the Divide Lakes Trail No. 539. Continue north to a bench and cross into the Columbine District where the trail begins descending into the Pine River Valley at 9-miles, crosses the Snowslide Trail No 663 and reaches the impressive Snowslide Canyon and the Pine River Trail No. 523 at 10.5-miles.
The scenery changes numerous times on this old stock driveway. Expect wildflowers in the meadows.
Directions: Drive North on Piedra Road (CR 600/FS 631) 22-miles to the intersection with the FS 640 (Williams Creek Road). Turn north and drive an additional 3.5-miles to FS 644 (Poison Park Road), turning west and then another 3.0-miles to the trailhead located at the end of the road.
Photo Credit: Janine Emmets