Elk Meadows Loop

HARD 1 reviews
#4 of 14 trails in

Elk Meadows Loop is a 13.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Parkdale, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
13.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,221 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

over grown

hiking
19 days ago

Hiked 08/01/18. I used this hike as the basis to make a longer loop around Elk Meadow and a quick side trip to Tamanawas Falls on my return to the trailhead. See recording for details. The waypoint in my recording serves as a word of caution. There are thousands of 6’-8’ Larch, Pine and Spruce saplings in the burn area as you continue up Bluegrass Ridge. Additionally, there are large burned snags and logs that have blown over and are crossing the trail. The combo of these 2 ingredients makes it very difficult to get through quickly. Also, the Bluegrass Ridge Trail has not been maintained in years and you will have trail finding issues. I say this since I had plenty of time to do 16-18 miles, but this area of the hike made for a slow pace, and I lost approximately an hour of daylight overall. However, the best mountain view is on Bluegrass Ridge, so pick your battles wisely. All of the major lower elevation stream crossings (2) over North-Fork Cold Spring Creek are fallen logs approximately 12"-14" in diameter and are at least 20' across from stream bank to bank. The summer current can be swift and cold. You must be comfortable crossing streams without formal bridges to do this hike. The Elk Meadows Trail section is highly maintained and highly utilized. Have fun. If you pack it in... pack it out. Other online resources here: http://www.nwhiker.com/MHNFHike37.html