Little Elk Creek Trail

MODERATE 19 reviews

Little Elk Creek Trail is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Irwin, Idaho that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.2 miles
2,608 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers


3 months ago

This is a beautiful trail with amazing views, gorgeous wildflowers, and lots of different options. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with the ‘moderate’ classification. Over 3300 feet of elevation gain to the ridge is challenging! We did the out and back (to the ridge of Waterfall Canyon) and it was just under 9 miles. The views from the top make it worth the effort! The creek was dry in mid August, so bring plenty of water later in the summer.

horseback riding
4 months ago

Location: Near Palisades Reservoir, Irwin, Idaho
Date: July 25, 2018
Riders: Jodie Mills, Cynthia Cox, Julie Hooks, Bob Deeter
Propose: Pack in supplies and water a 100 mile foot race in the area. Two Pack horses.
Trail: Safe enough for experienced horses, not for a timid rider or green or fat horse. Steep, Steep, Steep form the trail head to the top of Water Fall Canyon is 4.4 miles one way with a elevation gain of over 3200 feet. Great views all around. Still a little snow at 9200 feet. Perhaps the Sheep Creek Trail would have been better, longer but not as steep. I am sure the USFS has not done any trail maintenance in many years.

5 months ago

Great wildflowers in early July. Hard end of moderate. Some parts of Trail like walking on marbles. Allow plenty of time. I was forced off the trail by a sheep stampede.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Narrow trail, rocky and steep. No water in creek. Definitely a challenging hike. Today smoke from the Montana wildfires made breathing very difficult. I felt like we were at 10,000 feet. Still some wildflowers to enjoy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Nice trail up a neat little canyon. In the second half, watch for mountain goats on the West side of the canyon. At the top of the canyon, you can bushwhack your way up to the top of Mount Baird (ascend and follow the obvious ridge that will be on your right side). You can also crest over the ridge at the top of the trail and head down into Waterfall Canyon or Austin Canyon.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Went the first week of August. It was a gorgeous hike. I agree with one of the previous reviews that it is on the upper edge of moderate. Don't get into this one expecting a nice leisurely stroll. Near the top it turned into a battle of wills and personal fortitude to make it all the way up. We somehow took a wrong turn and ended up overlooking a beautiful valley for lunch before our trek back down. My wife, our 9yr old son, and I were on the trail for about 8.5 miles and it took around 6 hours. All in all a worthwhile trip. They weren't lying about the wildflowers either. Between the flowers and the hundreds of hummingbirds it was something to remember.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

This trail is a sweetheart. Really nice up at the top! This is perhaps a bit more difficult than the moderate rating. Steep trail in spots and loose rocks make it hazardous in spots. The view is awesome!. About 9 miles in and out.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

This was such a beautiful trail! Lots of beautiful scenery. There are signs for bears, so bring your bear spray. It is a wonderful time of year to go!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Beautiful area to hike by creek. Everything was really green.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

little elk creek was dry so the previously mentioned crossings were not an issue. I made a loop of it went up little elk it the headwaters of waterfall canyon then came down sheep creek. Made for a long hike with 3600 feet of elevation but it was pretty. I did have a shuttle otherwise I would have had to climb some more and add a couple more miles. if I was to do it again I would come out palisades creek.

Friday, June 03, 2016

6 Creek crossings not to bad but washed out trail we might try again

Friday, June 03, 2016

cross thro the creek 5 times b4 getting 2 a rock slide area... trail gets lil confusing... it's marked w/ piles of rocks off 2 the rite side... pass another area in the creek hav to circle round 2 the rite keep goin then ya hit a spot where the creek washed out the path bout 20-30ft... the water was mid shin some deeper some more shallow... we turned around where it washed out

Monday, August 10, 2015

We hiked Little Elk Creek Trail on August 9. The scenery was dramatic. We only saw 2 other hikers whom we passed on the way down. We actually turned back after about 45 minutes because we lost the trail and ended up hiking on the dry river bed. I really wish the trail had been marked with somes blazes or signs. We saw only one sign and that was on the way down.

7 months ago

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Friday, May 06, 2016

Friday, May 29, 2015