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Very steep trail that is more dangerous coming down than going up. Loose rock on the trail rolls easily under your feet. USE TREKKING POLES!

Great hike, just to much people.

Amazing hike. Very steep both up and down but so worth it! Go early to avoid the heat if the day. Bring lots of water!

This is my second time on the Kings Mountain trail, my husband runs the Elk-Kings route routinely. The beginning of the trail is covered in majestic ferns and the end in wildflowers and views of Mt Hood and Coastal Range. One is deep within the forest almost to the top and this is why we felt it would be safe to take along our very energetic 5 year old. To our surprise he made it to the summit within 2.5h with lots of breaks and a picnic on the way up (and down). The trail itself has a lot of scree so he held onto us for those sections. He did fantastic scrambling. He was equipped with proper shoes and a vest. For a strong single kid with two parents to mind them this is certainly feasible.

Hiked this with our 3 kids (ages 6, 11 and 13) and had a great time. Views of South Sister, Broken Top and Middle Sister at the top were spectacular! Highly recommend for a family hike!

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike but very rainy day. Was not prepared and did not bring trekking poles. We got to within half a mile of the summit and turned back when the wind kicked up and light hailing started. Will return soon to finish and possibly do the elk loop. On the way down I felt we didn’t need trekking poles tho they would have made it safer. Even with very wet conditions and proper shoes, our footing was solid. Got passed several times on the way down by gazelle like trail runners.

5 stars for the first part of the hike! Hiking the steep steps up to the top is so fun and gives you such awesome views! The path down is neat too (takes you past Monkey Face), but once you get down to the river it’s a little less exciting. Still a really nice trail and we enjoyed it, but all the “action” is in the first half of the hike!

New hiker, with a healthy respect for heights! Lots of scrambling over rocks and steep ascents / descents. Gets very busy, but definitely worth the trip to the top - wonderful views.

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!

More scrambling over boulders than walking on a trail but worth it for the views. Fairly busy on a Saturday but everyone was nice and helpful. I’m a newbie hiker and this was a challenge but very fun.

Really enjoyed this hike/rock scramble. Was a little more challenging than I was expecting but still worth it once you get to the top. Was there for sunrise and the parking lot was already packed. Bring lots of water it gets hot fast this time of year.

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.

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.

hiking
10 days ago

Many argue this side of Camelback is harder. I’m not sure it is. Just different. Midway there is a portion that you have to hold on to the rails, then it’s not hard at all. The other side is easier midway but a little bit more on the edge at the very end.
They are both a really good workout and they are both a pain to park. If you are not there by 6AM, you need to Uber. Views are amazing.

hiking
11 days ago

A straight up stellar hike. Worth the climb for the view.

Most fun hike I’ve ever done! Loved all the scrabble bits.

Would recommend bringing looots of water (you’ll need it) and some good shoes and poles to make the descent less terrible.

The ground is very crumbly in some areas, but nothing to be too concerned about as long as you’re careful and attentive, even if you’re wearing crappy tennis shoes like I was.

This is not hiking; this is rock climbing! That being said, it was a lot of fun. This trail is not for the faint of heart. Not much parking, and the great city of Paradise Valley does not allow street parking.

I loved this trail! I started at Opal Creek Campground which provides you with a couple easy miles before the incline starts. So much beauty! Like being in a fairy land! Lush forest and crystal clear green/blue waters. Plenty of side paths to go down to the river and swim. The incline is a great workout. Bringing a friend back here to do it again

Short hike for spectacular views! Worth staying for sunset but it gets windy and cold up top!

Nice hike with beautiful vistas. The initial descent from the parking lot is simple, but the way back is harder than it look, and several people were panting hard. Don’t rush!

Well groomed trail, made for easy going. Fantastic views of the Sisters and Broken Top and in late July there were still wildflowers and butterflies to enjoy.

Beautiful and unique scenery. Did this hike with a group of six plus a little dog. This was back in the winter and we kept shedding and putting back on layers. Excellent work out while you enjoy the views and company.

This hike should not to be attempted without hiking poles and very good shoes. I consider myself a fairly avid hiker, and this was one of the more challenging hikes I've done - not because of elevation and distance but trail conditions. I'm not particularly interested in risky situations, but I'm glad to add this hike to my list of completed. Each step needs to be carefully calculated so as not to slide down the crazy steep, loosely laid trail. I highly recommend going counter-clockwise unless you wish for greatly increased difficulty and danger. Don't do this hike at all if you are not sure-footed and confident of your skills. Even if you are, use good judgment as you encounter the challenging, crumbly trail conditions. There are a few spots where an unexpected slip could be fatal. As others have said, bring tons of water. I brought three liters and drank almost everything. I ran nearly all the way down from Kings Mountain as the descent isn't nearly as crazy steep as the Elk Mountain side. Surprisingly it can be far safer and more stable to run because your feet are no longer pressing vertically with your body's weight, and your center of mass is constantly "falling" as you go down, so you don't really slip as much. I don't recommend doing that though unless you have quick reaction skills. Years of jetty rock jumping, river rock hopping and soccer ball juggling as a kid have given me that "footy" confidence. Makes me feel a bit like a ninja or jedi, and that can be fun. Know how to stop when you are running - either with baby steps or grabbing/kicking trees for a full stop - especially when you turn corners or encounter other hikers.

Strenuous hike to the summit and back down around the back, almost all in the sun. But you get the tough part over with fast and get to walk along the river trail the rest of the way. Took a nice dip in the water. Bring more water than you think you need

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.

We got on the trail at 6 am on a hundred degree day and we finished about 9:30. you can do it much faster but we relaxed a while at the top. I have a great fear of heights so I also took longer than most people on the trail today. But, I faced my fear and went. I am so glad I did. However, if I were to do it again I would go clockwise along the river and up to the top and come back the same way. not nearly as steep and not the long dropoffs along the trail as going the counter clockwise part first.

hiking
20 days ago

Excellent hike that isn't too challenging, but will give you a good workout. Spectacular views all around the top. The trail is basically all uphill to the top and, of course, all downhill hiking back to the beginning. There was a fair amount of traffic for a Friday morning, but we had the top to ourselves for ten minutes. Temperature was nice, and the light breeze felt great. There weren't too many bugs.

This is great hike if you’re into a bit of a challenge; hence the word “challenge.” Don’t try this if you’re new to hiking. I know this is a popular tourist destination but if if you’re not in good physical shape and acclimated to triple digit weather(summer) outdoor activities, I don’t recommend it. Echo Canyon is the hardest of the two trails on this mountain. The summit is the same no matter which you choose. Please be hydrated!!!!

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