The upper trail segment is very poorly marked and does not have a distinctive trail tread. A few decent camping places exist on the lower segment of this trail. Good opportunities to see elk exist in the early mornings and late evenings. Fishing is possible near the mouth of West Pole Creek. Sheep grazing occurs in the summer months.
Stoney Pass area, looking toward Pole Creek
Excellent views and an excellent assortment of wildflowers can be found in the West Pole Drainage. Few people hike in the West Pole Area. Hiking this trail is basically a cross-country type experience. The trail is well-defined in only a few short segments. The last climb to the Continental Divide is steep. The best bet to reach the Divide is to choose your own route and follow the drainage upward.
Directions from Creede: Travel southwest from Creede on Highway 149 for about 20 miles, to the intersection of Highway 149 and Forest Development Road 520 (Rio Grande Reservoir/Upper Rio Grande Road). Follow Forest Road 520 for approximately 23.5 miles to the Pole Creek Trailhead. Hike approximately 3 miles up Pole Creek Trail (Forest Development Trail 916). The junction with Forest Trail 916 is not distinctive or signed. Proceed across Pole Creek and up the north side of the West Pole Drainage to pick up the trail.
Late June through September .