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Great hike with incredible views. We went on a clear day we could see mount hood and the three sisters. It’s a bit steep at the end but totally worth it. The area where the cave was is completely burnt. However, still highly recommend!

I completed this loop yesterday. It ended up being about 7.5 miles for me (maybe because I got of trail a few times for photos). The first 1.5 miles is quite challenging, especially with the loose gravel. Many good view points on the way up. There is a notebook at the summit to sign,but I had no pen. I contemplated going back down the way I came for the sake of time, but glad I didn't (I can't imagine going down those steep grades without a pole). After the summit, you do have some rocks to get down, so you'll need to use your hands. Around mile 3 it's smooth sailing. The junction point is well marked and there are pink/orange ribbons to follow.

Once I got on the Elk Creek Trail I decided to do some trail running (mostly trying to beat the sunset). The trail is generally smooth (I did hit a couple rocks,so be careful), and it's downhill, so I was back at the trailhead in no time.

The views are beautiful, but I imagine you could get similar views on a less challenging trail. Bring plenty of water!

This trail was not bad, however I felt the need to constantly watch my step during most sections to avoid rocks and tree roots. The hike isn’t strenuous until the switchbacks at the end and the rewarding views at the top make it all worth it. Bring more water than you think. The trail to Boca cave was very dusty and dirty due to the remnants of the fire. I had my 14 year old and 10 year old and the cave “trail” gave me some mom anxiety. Haha. It’s very steep and slippery. Coming out of the cave was wet and very steep for the first section. I recommend traction shoes. We were all very dirty at the end, but what an amazing view!

I didn’t do the full loop, just up to the summit and down due to timing but in retrospect it was very difficult going down. The views at the top of the summit are great. About a mile in it starts getting rough with having to scramble up a few tough parts and towards the end there are a few saddles. I was a little confused with how to get there but just look for the elk creek campground and drive a bit past there. Definitely a challenge, and a leg killer. I wouldn’t bring a dog or children.

This is a great hike with amazing views of Mt. Jefferson and other cascade mountains. It isn't usually packed with people, which is nice. The forest is beautiful and you get a treat at the top with plenty of private spaces to sit and view. If one was inclined, there is plenty of tent space at the top too. Since the burn, we didn't hike down to the cave this trip. It is a sad site to look out on all the burned up forest, but beautiful all the same. This hike is a good workout, but easy enough for anyone in decent shape.

Made it up in 45 minutes just in time for sunset! Beautiful hike, views and setting!

I have hiked this trail several time and always enjoy the hike. Each hike I see something new and interesting. Beautiful old growth tree and green meadows with wild flower. Challenging hike but not too hard, just enjoyable.

Another one of my favorites I've discovered after moving here a couple of months ago. Good hike with moderate incline and light traffic. long drive up the side road to get there but well worth it. would do again

Great hike! Got there around 11:30 and there was still parking on a Sunday. Made the mistake of branching off too early in hopes to find the cave (wait until you’re practically on the peak) but that turned into a nice rock climbing trip! Trail to the cave is very dusty from the fires and the trees radiate some heat still. Saw only about 5 people the entire time. Would recommend

Great Hike with spectacular views. Cave is tricky to find. You’ll need to go up to your left about 0.1 mile before reaching the trail peak.(we actually found it on the way back down which would be on your right). A rock with “cave” and and arrow points the way from the trail (see photos added to this site). Hike up about 200 feet, head toward the right where you will see the burned out forest. Cave is down and around burned out area..(around to the left) Dusty, ashy hike but very worth it!

Trail incline increased noticeably over the last portion of the path but what a wonderful view at the end! Path to the cave is through an old burn. Had to follow footprints in the ash/dust. We didn’t have any trouble but I can imagine if you were the first one after a rain It might be hard. The framed view from the cave is very unique.

So I tried to find the cave but was unsuccessful, when I took the right path (triangulation peak) it dead ends to the peak, where do I go from here?

hiking
19 days ago

This was my second time visiting the summit of Elk's Mountain. My first time I did the whole enchilada (Kings-Elk loop). I did this hike clockwise today and is the direction that I would recommend. I have descended down the steep trail on my first visit and the fun factor plummets. The dry dirt and fine loose rock make this trail very difficult to descend. Late July and the huckleberries were out. Yum! Had a close encounter with a black bear that crossed the trail ahead of me, about a mile north of the trailhead, on Elk Creek Trail. He must have been returning from the stream to get a drink. He wasn't afraid of me, which was a bit unnerving. I heard him on the hillside 5 minutes later. He had been walking parralell with me up on the hillside. The campground and smell of food must attract them.

I'm not that impressed with the view from Elk's Mountain summit. The view is just of other nearby hillsides with logged patches everywhere. I prefer the view from Kings mountain. On a clear day you can see Mt. Hood from ~100 miles away. The ascent on this trail feels more like a scramble than a hike. Constantly climbing over and down rocks, navigating loose trail soil. My favorite part of the hike was the notepad at the top. People write some pretty humorous stuff in there. :)

Final thought: There are much more rewarding hikes in the region for a similar energy expense. Table Mt., Silver Star Mt., Hamilton Mt., Larch Mt., Saddle Mt. are the first ones that come to mind. If you are going to do this hike, just do the whole Kings-Elk Mountain loop. It is a little more difficult but much more rewarding. I might be back in five years, but wouldn't be sad if I never hike this again.

Hike to a trail junction and head right that’s labeled “triangulation peak”. From that sign you’ll go up nearly 0.7 miles to another (unlabeled) trail junction. To the right is a very short distance to the peak. To the left you make your way down some burned trees about 0.3 miles and take a left around the large rock cliff to get to Boca Cave!

Phenomenal! Definitely a moderate hike. I found the trail marked 3372 fairly easily. There’s really only one fork, and it has a sign. Boca Cave was pretty easy to find as well. Did it with my pup, she loved it. Verizon service at the top fyi. It’s definitely on my go to list now.

OMG! beautiful hike ! One of my favorites so far. Drive up was super easy. It turned into a gravel road and I have a little car, but it was very well maintained, not one pot hole. hike was easy in the beginning. Got more uphill at the end, but wasn't awful. At the top the trail goes left or right. left will take you to the top then follow the trail to the right down the burn and around to the rocky side of the mountain on the left the cave is hidden back in there. it's huge you can miss it. make sure on your way back you go to the other trail that split off to the right. It's a super short hike to the peak with beautiful views ! breath taking hike, I can't wait to go back !

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike a few weeks ago with a group. It’s quite the climb by beautiful wildflowers. Really must do iron mountain - the views! Our group did yoga at the top in a beautiful Saturday and not one person came up during the hour we were there.

For middle aged knees it’s a little hard on the way down - but worth it!

Beautiful Hike, Amazing Views of Mt Jefferson.....I Love It. #TheSignaturePicture.

Once you find the trailhead, it's a stellar hike! Don't plug 'Triangulation Peak' into the GPS- Instead, from the Detroit Ranger Station, travel east on Hwy 22 for 6.2 miles and turn left on to McCoy creek road (Forest Road 2233). Drive for 7.3 miles to a three-way junction and make a sharp right. Then it's another 1.3 miles to the trailhead, which is on the right. (Trail #3373). Pretty moderate hike and gradual elevation gain. the view is breathtaking on a clear day with Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, North, Middle, and South Sister. The cave is not too hard to find, either. Before summitting Triangulation Peak, there's a path that veers to the left through some sparse brush. head down that path for 0.2 miles. It's very dusty, since you're hiking through trees affected by the wildfire. But the cave is just around the large rocky mountain towards the left. Amazing spot!!

Did the hike backwards which I would recommend for the workout. Super steep and gets you to the summit quickly. Amazing view!

The drive to the trailhead; accessible by bmw? My truck is down!

Super steep but very fun!

The rock slide in FR19 is still there and it doesn't sound like there is a plan for clearing it anytime soon, so find an alternative route.

also, the trail is closed from the south entrance near Frissell Crossing Campground, so try to enter from the north.

pretty hike, though

Did this hike 6/28/18 beautiful hike, fairly easy in the beginning. After the trail splits (you go to the right toward the peak) it gets a little more uphill, but still gradual. Not very wide in most areas, so beware if you have children, the dogs were fine. Gorgeous views at the top despite last years fires, well worth the walk. Trail to cave is accessible, just be cautious as I saw several slips and a fall while visiting.

My favorite hike in the PNW!

trail to the cave not clearly marked. recent fire damage. only reason I hiked this was for the cave. never found it.

Training to climb Kilimanjaro at the end of the year and looking for good training hikes. This one was a good one for that. not too long, but steady and constant elevation gain, rocky trail and beautiful view at the top. It's a great feeling when there is no more up until you remember the down is probably harder on tired legs. That was definitely the case on this trail.

Saturday morning and only one other couple on the trail. Definitely coming back to this one!

Fun hike great views from top.

hiking
1 month ago

All clear, some snow/slush puddles on the trail that are easily traversed. The trail down to the cave is pretty loose and involved a lot of ash and charred soil, but doable.

Went midweek, only three other small groups on the trail. definitely earns hard rating, very steep and long. Great views from the old lookout site. Only earns 4 stars because trail after lookout to summit is unstable at times, narrow, sometimes overgrown, and has several fallen trees over it. I reached the Summit, but honestly the extra mile each way wasn't really worth it, as the views from the lookout are just as stunning and similar.

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