Big Elk Creek Trail

EASY 31 reviews
#8 of 36 trails in

Big Elk Creek Trail is a 10.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Irwin, Idaho that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
977 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Easy, wide trail for the 1st half, then two or three deep smooth rock water crossings for horses. Not for novice horse riders beyond this point. Trail narrow for 6 plus miles for the advance hiker or rider. Worth the ride to the end. Water is too deep before mid July. Advanced Hikers can take a upper trail to get around stream it but is steep narrow. Not made for horses. Look up to your left at the water crossing to see the trail.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice hike along Big Elk Creek. We took our dog and he was able to cool off in the stream along the way. My GPS measured 6.3 miles to the creek crossing and trail split to Siddoway Fork and Neeley Cove. Stream was still moving swiftly so we didn't attempt to cross. The trail also appears to cross the Big Elk Creek at about mile 5+, but there is an optional trail up along the cliffs on the north side of the creek. It is a good trail, although a little rocky. Didn't see any animals, but there are plenty of wild flowers. Still, watch out for thistles!

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice hike...even saw a moose on the other side of the creek. If you only want to do a shorter hike, turn around at the Dry Canyon intersection...about 2.7 Miles in. Otherwise, there are no real destinations before that...just a nice hike in the woods near a pretty stream. There was a little mud, but not all that bad. My 15 year old daughter hiked in canvas sneakers and got sore feet, but otherwise okay. Spots are a little rocky.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail has some muddy parts because of the spring runs offs. Otherwise it is dry. No snow. After about 2.5 miles there is a ford. You do not need fording shoes to cross, but it may not be easy to cross if you have small kids with you.

I continued to Siddoway fork, but got to a creek that I was not able to cross (deep, fast running water about 45 feet wide), so I turned around and got back.

backpacking
2 months ago

This is a fun trail to hike and camp at. There's a pretty river that runs through and great scenery. Watch out for stinging nettles but other than that it's a fantastic trail!

trail running
7 months ago

Great trail. We made a late season run to the 6.5 mile mark in preparation for next year's Palisades Ultra Trail Series. Creeks were cold and snow was 1-4 inches with lots of animal signs, no actual sightings though. Can't wait until next year!

hiking
9 months ago

Great trail, super pretty, just very muddy.

hiking
10 months ago

A great trail for a hike with younger children. The trail is quite easy for the first four miles or so, with lots of nice views of the creek. There's plenty of shade along the way, and for those so inclined, several good options for campsites within the first three miles. Beyond the three mile mark, look for mountain goats on the steep canyon walls.

At about five miles in, the trial splits, giving the more adventurous hiker several options, including the South Fork and the Siddoway Fork. The latter connects with Austin Canyon and Neeley Cove.

10 months ago

Nice easy hike. Trail was dusty so I guess no rain recently. Lots of Salmon in the river.

11 months ago

Gorgeous trail that follows the river with beautiful scenery and didn't see anyone else. River is still pretty high but passable now. Bring your keen type sandals for this one and go in August or September when it's warm and the river is lower. Or just make it a smaller hike since it doesn't cross the river for a while.

trail running
11 months ago

Beautiful trail with a gradual uphill on the way out and a fun gentle downhill on the way back. I went out about 3.5 miles, but the brush was getting pretty thick after about 3 miles, so I would recommend making it a 6 mile or shorter run/hike on this trail.

hiking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Beautiful trail! We went about halfway with kids and a dog, and it wasn't too difficult. the scenery is lovely. Bring bug spray!

hiking
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Great trail! Both kid and dog friendly. Be careful around the creek, it was very full and very fast from winter/snow run off.

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

Over all great hike. Trail needed to be cleaned up. There was flooding in many parts. I posted some picture.

hiking
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Very pretty. The trail is along the creek and there is plenty of shade. Loved it. Did only about half of the hike. Had to turn around about half a mile after dry canyon crossroad. The creek was too deep and wide to continue further.

hiking
Thursday, May 05, 2016

5-4-2016. It was a nice day. starting at mile 2 or 2 and a half, there isn't a ton of shade. It is still enjoyable. Just gets hot quickly. We turned around at mile 4, due to brush thickening. Gorgeous Creek. perfect for horses or dogs. It was running a little fast, but there is a nice flat, easy spot for dogs to lay down in the water around mile 2ish. Would definitely do this one again.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Easy wide trail 1st half, then two or three deep smooth rock water crossings for horses. Not for novice horse riders beyond this point. Trail narrow for 6 plus miles for the advance hiker or rider. Worth the ride to the end. Water is too deep before mid July.

Advanced Hikers can take a upper trail to get around stream it but is steep narrow. Not made for horses. Look up to your left at the water crossing to see the trail.

Monday, May 26, 2014

This was an ok trail. You can tell it's had a lot of horse traffic so as a result it's pretty uneven terrain. But the first 3 miles or so was beautiful. I don't know if I would hike the full 6 miles again but I would go the first 3 again

hiking
Monday, May 21, 2012

This was a great hike. The scenery was gorgeous and the trail not terribly strenuous. I couldn't complete the trail though because of the river crossing toward the end. All in all a great trail.

hiking
Saturday, September 25, 2010

The views and the wildflowers were gorgeous!

hiking
2 months ago

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10 months ago

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Sunday, July 02, 2017

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Monday, October 10, 2016

hiking
Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Sunday, August 07, 2016

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