Elk Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 65 reviews
#2 of 18 trails in

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 offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.1 miles
2723 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers


11 days ago

The climb up will test your will power. The way down will test your joints! The view was great at the top. Was definitely one of the harder hikes I’ve done

22 days ago

Wow! Hardest hike I’ve done here in the PNW. Right up there with dog mountain and king mountain (which you can loop to and knock out both summits in one go if you’re a true sadist). Big minuses for no really solid views or waterfalls. The down hill destroyed my knees. I’d only take younger, more agile dogs if you’re a dog person since there are quite a few rock climbs/scrambles you have to negotiate

1 month ago

I love this challenge! Beautiful views!! I have yet to do the full loop, I usually go out and back. It’s steep, but exactly what I’m looking for to train. Prepare to maneuver over rocks in some spots. Good hiking shoes and lots of water. No dogs or kids. if you can’t make it to summit, don’t worry beautiful views all the way

3 months ago

Amazing place

5 months ago

Bucklin' Down 2017 completed the loop on 9 Sept. We loved it, despite one of our party dealing with feet and knee pain. Fun and challenging ascents were steep and slick with loose rock, and we were glad for our trekking poles. Incredible views of the surrounding valleys, mountains and hills. Tremendous variation along the trail too...from arid rock to lush, damp forest to gurgling streams. Had a few dispersed camping locations just off trail. Bring plenty of water.

6 months ago

One of my favorite hikes. The view from above the clouds is incredible. I like to hit the trail early in the morning. It is very quiet and peaceful. For beginners this can be a tough trail, hard on the legs and feet. I live nearby and have made this hike many times. I prefer the long way to the summit and then I turn around and make it an out and back.

6 months ago

Temperature when my wife and I started the ascent of the steep trail (1.4m) was 61F, in the way back, 84F (10am-pm), not a good time of the year to do this hike. My wife abandoned after a 3rd of the trail. I kept climbing with my dog (very bad idea). Beautiful sights, but not quiet as Saddle Mountain (astonishing views). Very difficult hiking down. They should set up a slide! Maybe my expectations were too high.

7 months ago

Great hike up and well worth the effort! Coming down is extremely steep so I wouldn't suggest bringing the pup for a loop hike. Going in and out will be long, but better on the knees. Anyway, can't wait to don't again!

7 months ago

Holy cow, this is a butt-kicker! The ascent up Elk Mountain is incredibly steep, and the 1.4 miles up took us a little over an hour to complete. Once you're up, the views are breathtaking, and from there on out the trail is pretty easy down the Eagle Creek Trail back to the campground. Definitely bring more water than you think you'd need for the 8 mile loop, as both my dog and I were quite parched by the time we got back to the car.

7 months ago

awesome trail! Now one of my favorites.

10 months ago

I did the elk mountain summit trail. Beyond beautiful views, but be prepared to work for them. It is an uphill climb the whole way with barely any breaks of downhill or leveled out ground. My boyfriend and I were incredibly sore the next few days following the hike. We only encountered one other couple on the way up and down the mountain.

mountain biking
10 months ago

Great trail for mountain biking

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Amazing views from the summit

Monday, September 19, 2016

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!

Monday, August 29, 2016

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.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The views on this hike were awesome but it was very difficult. It is mostly steep uphill and overgrown in many areas.

Monday, May 25, 2015

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.

Monday, April 27, 2015

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!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

easy trail. needs trail work. beautiful views.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Aw, c'mon. I did this one in midsummer a couple years ago, at age 47, in running shoes. It was a killer. Take water and an asthma inhaler. I am no athlete, and would never have tried it were it not for a friend who conned me into driving up there. He and his dog sprinted up the thing and then looked back at me with disdain as I crawled up the rocks.

Took about 4 hours, trip up was half-clambering over boulders. Spectacular views, incredible variety of wildflowers. Forgot to take a camera, dangit. Took the creek trail back, steep in spots. Knees were crippled for two days, but it was the coolest and most demanding thing I've ever done and I was pretty proud of myself.

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