Sweetwater County High Point Trip Report

Pine Mountain

Date: July 30, 2002
Author: Edward Earl

Pine Mountain lies near where WY, UT, and CO all converge at a point. It is accessible from either US-191 to the W or WY-430 on the east. As my natural approach was from Flaming Gorge, I first contemplated the western approach. I soon realized that the off-highway road grid was very complex and I could not be sure of the correct turnoff from US-191, despite having Topozone print-outs. One turnoff, signed as "Sandy Point Road" and heading down into Red Creek Basin which is topographically VERY convoluted, had signs warning of an out-of-commission bridge and suggesting alternate routes. I therefore opted to endure the roundabout drive up to Rock Springs and back down WY-430 for the simpler eastern approach.

The obscure turnoff from WY-430 is about 5 miles north of the CO border. A small BLM sign, which you can't really see until you're off the main highway and on the side road, says it's 12 miles to Pine Mountain. Within the first couple of miles there are several small but sharp eroded ruts across the road. Any vehicle that makes it past these will have no trouble the rest of the way to Pine Mountain. After 4 miles is a fork; the left fork has a small BLM sign saying it's 8 more miles to Pine Mountain. After those 8 miles you arrive at the foot of the mountain. At a small saddle behind a butte where some earth has been moved, I turned left and headed straight uphill. The topo map shows two switchbacks in the main road up the mountain, but now there is only one; the first, which dips down to a water tank, seems to have been abandoned and replaced by direct route uphill. I spent the night here and made the Earlizing foot trek to the summit the next morning.

The crescent-shaped summit rim of Pine Mountain is very flat and contains two spot elevations: 9546, which is by a concrete foundation near the east end of the rim, and 9550 near what appears on the topo map to be a saddle with slightly higher ground beyond, near the northwest end of the rim. From either of these two spots, it appears uphill to the other! However it appears slightly more uphill from the northwest end to the east end than vice versa. I therefore believe that, despite the relative spot elevations, that the exact HP is one of several rocks by point 9546 near the east end.