Elk City State Park is located in Montgomery County, approximately 5 miles northwest of Independence, Kansas. The State Park was leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1967 and the lease area involved 1,127 acres for the period of 25 years, for Public Park and recreational purposes. The Elk City project maintains approximately 4,500 water acres at normal flood pool. The lease has since been amended and presently the lease agreement is for 857 acres.

backpacking
11 days ago

Backpacked from the east to west trail heads Oct 7-8, 2017.It's a moderate to strenuous hike. We made it to the 10 mile campsite 1st day only to find the stream we'd gotten water from the previous year was completely dry. Be prepared to carry water or cache mid-way 9-10 mil parking. mile 10-15 is a bit more treacherous than 1-10. Beautiful, scenic hike.

Now this is hiking!! We really enjoyed the trails! Quiet, serene, beautiful, well maintained.
We'll be back for sure!

Excellent adventure! We loved the quiet, well marked trails!! Absolutely beautiful hiking path!

backpacking
25 days ago

Great trail, very well marked and maintained. Moderate difficulty, water access if your planning on filtering is spotty. Overall very, very cool trail, forget your in Kansas

hiking
27 days ago

backpacking
28 days ago

just got done with this trail, it was 90 degrees and high humidity which made hiking a very muggy experience. we hiked 6.5 miles in on Friday afternoon and found a campsite, it's pretty difficult to find a good rock free site. then Saturday we hiked another 2.5 miles to mile marker 6, then we turned around and hiked the 9 miles back out, very pretty but EXTREMELY Rocky, we were constantly worried about twisting an ankle and there are several sections with VERY VERY steep Rocky climbs and descents

backpacking
3 months ago

I set out from the western most trailhead on 7/6/17. The recent floods have eroded overhangs to collapse, left deep, mucky mud along the lower portions along the trail and caused a small landslide 2 miles in, at the waterfall. I was carrying a 60lb pack, set for a couple days on the trail and planned to hike the full 15 miles of it. However, I underestimated the difficulty. There were VERY sleep inclines and descents. I'm in pretty good shape, work out every day and it took me 4 hours to get two miles in, at the waterfall. The trail was compromised by a landslide and someone had created an alternate crossing. So, I took off my pack to scout the best way to proceed. Standing at the edge of a 20 some foot, steep slope into algae covered rock, I was attacked by wasps and instinctively bolted, leaping in bounds down into the ravine. In the process, my left big toenail was torn from the nail bed and I was forced to go back the way I came. It's an absolutely beautiful trail, but be aware, it's physically demanding, I saw fresh mountain lion scat, bear tracks & on hot days, it's dangerous to over exert yourself. Pack light and know that, there is no outside access until you're about 9 miles in, if you want out. That being said, I will most definitely return, once my foot heals, because it's just an incredible area.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful view and peaceful hike. Check for ticks.

Absolutely love this trail, been hiking it for over 10 years

I've done this trail several times. I think it is the best in Kansas. It is moderately difficult for the first few miles. The last 5 miles don't really have water access so conserve water. Can have a lot of traffic on holidays but not too much on regular days.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

Had a great day on the trail. Saw several harmless green snakes and awesome views of the area. Trail is well marked and it a great outing. Made five miles in from the east trail head.

Hiked a portion of this trail and camped at about mile 6 from the east trailhead. I was planning to cache some water at mile 9.5 but the trail was flooded on that part.
The first 5 miles is rugged and pretty. it is better to have hiking boots. The temperature was around 82 F which made hiking less pleasant. I think it is better to hike this trail in March and April since it would be cooler and you can find some flowing water for use after filtration (Lake water is not clean enough). Most of the flowing waters were dry. We found just one between mile 4 and 5 that I assume it will be dry in one week.
We saw different animals such as black snakes, armadillos, raccoons, and owls. Only be careful not to step on the snakes. Wearing pants and long sleeve shirt prevents ticks and mosquitos bites.
Road 5200 is a gravel road so it is better to drive on other paths to access trailheads.
Overall, this trail is different from what you expect to see in Kansas and can be a nice experience if you hike in a cool weather.