Red Elephant Hill Empire Trail

HARD 19 reviews
#53 of 146 trails in

Red Elephant Hill Empire Trail is a 11.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
11.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,415 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

off road driving

scenic driving

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Fun, steep trail to interesting Empire Hilton Cabin This is a fun 4-wheel-drive trip with plenty of challenge and great scenery. A unique feature of the route is the Empire Hilton Cabin. It's open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Make sure to leave it the way you find it, or better. Start of trail is a county road that crosses private property. We've never had a problem getting through, but have heard stories that this is not always the case. The 2010 MVUM shows no seasonal closures. For current conditions call Arapaho National Forest, Clear Creek Ranger District at (303) 567-3000. Red Elephant Hill is narrow, steep and tippy in places. Empire Loop is rocky. Aggressive, high-clearance SUVs can do it.

hiking
10 days ago

Ran this trail, the 20-30% grade in places, along with frequent giant holes created by 4x4 spinning tires made this route very challenging but fun.

hiking
1 month ago

This wasn’t even a hiking trail. It was an off-roading trail with an intense ascent and even worse decent. Loose rocks, litter, people drinking and shooting guns. Not worth it, don’t waste your time.

off road driving
2 months ago

Fun trail, but as of this date (5/12/18) it becomes unpassible at about 3 - 3 1/2 miles in because of deep heavy snow. Had to turn around.

4 months ago

This trail has no access.

off road driving
9 months ago

Great trail, it's become more difficult thru the season this year. . the trees are changing color now so I'd suggest getting up there soon for best viewing.

off road driving
11 months ago

I did this trail in a stock 2 door JK Rubicon. It required good line choice in 1-2 spots, otherwise I'd consider this an easy trail.

11 months ago

Don't hike this. it is an off roading trail. I am an idiot and thought it was a hike. The initial incline was pretty brutal, and the decent was terrible. 0/5 without a jeep.

off road driving
Sunday, July 02, 2017

Great trail, we did this in a 2 door jk with 3.5" lift and 35s and I would definetly recommend using a lifted rig on this trail.

off road driving
Friday, June 23, 2017

me and my brother did this in a stock tj. I would not recommend this if ur just starting out. it took us a while to get up in the stock tj. other than that it's a good trail it will test ur ability

off road driving
Friday, June 23, 2017

A stock Nissan Xterra will not make it. Not speaking from an experience that happened 3 hours ago. A friend told me that... you wouldn't know him... he goes to a different school...

off road driving
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Red Elephant Hill is one entrance into the "Empire" 4x4 trail system. This entrance is quite tricky and can cause you some serious vehicle damage if you are a novice or you try it with a stock vehicle. I waited until I modified my Rubicon with 3.5 inch lift and 35' tires. There are a few "tippy" spots through the rocks but once past that you will be fine. The Empire entrance is my choice and it has more sub trails right as you go in. There is Bill Moore Lake and several other runs you can take that include a few nice water crossings as well. I love this place for aspen viewing in the fall. This is a "must do" trip if you love off-roading!!

off road driving
1 month ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
Sunday, July 02, 2017

off road driving
Monday, June 05, 2017

hiking
Saturday, June 04, 2016

hiking
Tuesday, January 08, 2013