Carlos Tevez shrugged off the ongoing controversy over his move to West Ham by firing them to a vital victory that takes them out of the bottom three.
Tevez inspired West Ham's win
The Argentine curled home a sweet free-kick within nine minutes and then sidefooted home a second shortly after.
He crossed for Mark Noble to volley in a third as the Hammers dominated.
Bolton pulled a goal back when Gary Speed tucked home from a Nicolas Anelka pass but Sammy Lee's first game in charge ended in defeat.
It was a third successive win for West Ham, who move out of the drop zone for the first time since December and put a dent in Bolton's European aspirations.
The contribution of Tevez has been key to the turnaround under manager Alan Curbishley.
The Argentine international spent some time in an oxygen chamber in the build-up to the game.
It was an attempt to recover from an ankle injury but perhaps also to keep him away from the fall-out surrounding his mystery move last summer.
Tevez was handed the player of the season award before the game - and nine minutes after the start he had the ball in the back of the net.
His strength and trickery earned him a free-kick just outside the box and he struck a sweet, curling strike into the top corner past the desperate reach of Jussi Jaaskelainen.
The crowd responded with chants of "One Carlos Tevez" but he was far from finished.
He slotted in a second when he and Luis Boa Morte were left to run clear on goal and the midfielder unselfishly squared for Tevez to slide it past Jaaskelainen.
Just before the half hour Tevez found himself free on the left and he picked out Noble with a perfect cross, the teenager adding the finishing touch with a well-struck volley.
The win takes West Ham above Wigan and out the bottom three
Boa Morte was wild and wide with a left-foot shot as West Ham looked to close the goal difference gap between themselves and Wigan still further.
Anelka managed Bolton's first shot on goal around the hour mark when he forced Robert Green into a superb diving save to turn his shot around the post.
The French forward created Bolton's goal when he found Speed and the newly appointed first-team coach scored with an angled drive across Green and into the bottom corner.
Tevez was denied a hat-trick by Jaaskelainen and he also kept out Marlon Harewood's shot as the final 23 minutes were played without too much danger of West Ham surrendering the points against a Bolton side lacking their usual fight.
The Trotters have apparently invited Sam Allardyce back to the Reebok as a guest for their final game of the season.
On this evidence they might try and convince him to make a permanent return.
Meanwhile, West Ham face a trip to champions-elect Manchester United in their final game safe in the knowledge their fate is finally in their own hands.
Their future could still be decided in the law courts this summer, but on the pitch they are doing all that is asked of them.
Hammers boss Alan Curbishley:
"Our fate is in our hands for the first time.
"I was just happy to get the result today but anything can still happen.
"Carlos Tevez had an ankle problem and was doubtful but he's an inspiration to us at the moment."
Bolton manager Sammy Lee:
"It was very disappointing we didn't stick to our game plan in the first half but the boys deserved credit for the way they applied themselves afterwards.
"We had to push four men up and take some chances at the back but we finally looked more like the old Bolton.
"The big plus to come out for us is that other sides around us in the table lost. The Uefa Cup means a great deal to us. We all enjoyed it two years ago and want to be back in it."
West Ham: Green, Neill, Collins, Ferdinand, McCartney, Benayoun, Reo-Coker (Mullins 86), Noble, Boa Morte (Spector 79), Zamora (Harewood 64), Tevez.
Subs Not Used: Cole, Davenport.
Booked: Zamora, Noble.
Goals: Tevez 10, 21, Noble 29.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Campo, Meite, Michalik, Gardner (Giannakopoulos 76), Thompson (Sinclair 58), Speed, Teymourian (Vaz Te 65), Nolan, Anelka, Davies.
Subs Not Used: Walker, Tal.
Booked: Thompson, Gardner, Nolan, Davies, Speed.
Goals: Speed 67.
Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).