Elk Lake Trail

HARD 1 reviews
#122 of 135 trails in

Elk Lake Trail is a 4.7 mile out and back trail located near Estacada, OR that features a lake. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking.

4.7 miles 396 feet Out & Back

hiking

lake

views

camping
3 years ago

Just made it out here for the first time, and it's beautiful! We came in at the southern trailhead by Elk Lake, and hiked and camped for five days. There are at least two trails that branch off of this that allow for additional day hikes, but do be careful as they've both been burned in the last few years, and the trails on those ridges (Welcome Lakes and Mother Lode) have not been well maintained. Have a map and compass and/or GPS with you. The Elk Lake Creek trail has a number of great swimming holes, depending on the level of the creek. Very little traffic out on the trails, though it picks up a bit down by the lake. Access to the south does require a higher clearance vehicle (we did it in a 2011 Forrester), but I did see a passenger vehicle or two out there. Wouldn't recommend it, but it looks like it might be doable. The forest is absolutely full of rhodies, and I would imagine is beautiful earlier in the year. Mosquitoes weren't bad (elevation is about 3,000' to 3,500' on the Elk Lake Creek trail, though the bees and flies were pretty wretched at times. Overall, a great spot - we'll definitely go back!