Elk Mountain to King's Mountain Loop

HARD 172 reviews
#3 of 24 trails in

Elk Mountain to King's Mountain Loop is a 10.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Tillamook, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,815 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

This demanding loop takes you to the summit of Elk and King's Mountains crossing through the Tillamook forest between as you gain nearly 4000' and cross a series of light scrambles on difficult terrain.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

I am an experienced biker and I say this hike is Definitely difficult! Hiked Nov. 27, and there was 2” of snow for all of the elevated portions. I went clockwise from Kings Mt. Trailhead- and would recommend that. I liked Tackling the hardest stuff first, but the scrambely downhill coming off of Elks Mt. was tough on my knees. There is a rope to help get up in one spot.

This trail was rough and deserves its “difficult” rating. There were parts that were sketchy and multiple points I had to lift my dog (border collie, 50lbs) because of rocky areas in the trail that were too high to jump. I would not recommend this trail to anyone with kids or small/old dogs. I would recommend this trail to anyone that wants a challenging hike with rewarding views. I suggest bringing poles because there are some difficult to navigate rocky spots when going down hill. Good luck

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
2 months ago

Great hike!

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

This trail is butt kicker. Great conditioning hike, but I wouldn’t do it again. We started at the bottom of Eks and went counter clockwise. It starts out super steep immediately (you’re basically either climbing rock faces or hiking steep switch backs). You’ll reach the summit of Elks after an intense, dusty and dirty climb. After that, it’s a repetitive and morale-killing up and down, up and down to the summit of Kings. Just after the summit on your way down Kings is a picnic table (Eagle Scout project), if you want a place to sit and eat. No good views from the table, but it is nice and shady. Going down Kings is steep, but preferable to climbing down the rock faces of Elks. Expect steep, slippery trails most of the way down. Once we reached the bottom of Kings, it was a moderate hike back to Elks trailhead. Definitely recommend doing it counter clockwise, but if I did it again (which I won’t), I’d start at the bottom of Kings but still go counter clockwise. That way you’d get a couple miles of easy/moderate warm up hiking along Wilson, then start the steep scramble up Elks. You’ll also feel a bit more accomplished once you hit the top of Elks, and when you finish Kings you’ll be so glad to be done. Not spectacular views at the summit, but you get some stunning ones along the way. We went in running shoes, with a dog but without poles, but better shoes and poles would probably have helped. We had to help our dog up/down on the steeper sections. There is lots of varied terrain, which is nice, but doesn’t make it worth it.

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

hiking
over grown
scramble
6 months ago

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

Definitely a difficult trail but worth it. Great views and diverse terrain. We went clockwise and it seemed just as steep going up and coming down. The summit to Elk Mountain requires some light climbing and between Elk and Kings Mountain you cross a ridge that is quite rocky and steep.

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

Hiked counter clockwise from elk creek to elk mountain. Very difficult once we hit the elk mountain ridge line. Carrying an overnight pack parts of the hike were incredibly daunting, I wouldn't recommend carrying that heavy of a pack. Also would recommend doing the hike in the opposite direction. Overall an accomplishment although at times scary and risky. Not for the inexperienced.

hiking
scramble
6 months ago

Overall it was a good day hike, if I had to carry a overnight backpack I would have definitely struggled. Some of the climbs were a little sketchy. I started at Elk Creek and went counter clockwise it took ~5 hrs with good weather.

hiking
6 months ago

Very tricky and technical, and mostly very steep. do this counter clockwise to stay safe, and maybe bring a friend in case of a slip. Views are decent, but you mostly do this one for the sense of accomplishment.

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

It was quiet an experience, terrifying for a few miles. I will likely never do this loop again, Elk Mountain and the ridgeline to reach Kings is not worth the risk of one wrong step and sliding over a cliff. King Mountain was very safe feeling though and had a wonderful view as well, go about 100ft past the summit for another good viewpoint. I didn't bring enough water, at least 2L is needed and I had 1.5. I get real sweaty though being about 50lbs overweight. Overall I really enjoyed the adventure despite the risks but wont be risking it again.

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