Elk Mountain Loop Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Tillamook, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Amazing views from the summit
A steep slippery climb to the summit, but great views once you're there. The two miles after feel long, it's a drop right away, but then a lot of variation in elevation before you finally hit the Elk Creek split, so save your energy. It's a beautiful chunk of forest though, mist, clouds, salal berries, moss and not crowded at all. I thought people might be exaggerating but it is a tough one. Bring plenty of snacks and water and enjoy!
it was hard hike but great experience. I wouldn't go back again anytime soon because it was too hard scary. definitely this hike is not for kids.
The views on this hike were awesome but it was very difficult. It is mostly steep uphill and overgrown in many areas.
My son and I hiked Elk Mountain Trail today. We were originally going to do King Mountain trail, because we heard it was less demanding. Unfortunately the parking lot for King Mtn Trailhead was full.
So, we pulled up our "big boy" shorts and drove back to Elk Mountain Trailhead, located in Elk Creek Park. The weather turned out to be perfect, blue skies, scatter white clouds and approximately 69 degrees. If it had been warmer it may have made this brutal trail much more grueling.
Elk Mountain Trail is approximately 4.3 miles round trip. It is a very demanding trail. As comparison, I think it is more difficult than Dog Mountain Trail in the gorge. Elk Mountain Trail is very "efficent". From the very start the trail basically goes straight up; it has minimal if any switchbacks. In the first 1.6 miles you climb 1,900' elevation. The Elk Mountain Summit is 2788'. Hang in there, the panoramic view at the summit makes the exhausting walk well worth it. BTW as you ascend to the summit, you will periodically get amazing views peaking through the tree laden trail.
It is highly recommended that you have healthy meniscus in your knees, and strong thighs, and lungs. You will find all three being severely tested. Coming down is no piece of cake on your knees and your balance. The steep trail has loose soil and gravel, which can surprise you and put you on your butt if you are not careful. It happened 2 or 3 times on the way down. I guess trekking poles would be nice to help maintain balance.
Even though it was Memorial Day weekend, the traffic on the trail was low. Once we reached the summit two other groups arrived within 20-30 minutes. Then on the way down we only saw maybe 6 hikers (3 groups). So, the trail traffic was low.
It's a great trail, brutal but worth it. Get out there and enjoy it.
A friend and I did this loop coming off of the Elk creek side trail when we wanted more of a burn. We got a little more than we bargained for to say the least! it was a mildly warm late April morning/afternoon, no clouds, pretty clear. Even on a day like that a full 3L water bladder was barley enough, bring extra! Well worth the efforts and for the first time we got to sign a trail log at the summit!