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Elkhorn Crest Trail

HARD 16 reviews

Elkhorn Crest Trail is a 20 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Baker City, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is best used from June until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 20.0 miles Elevation Gain: 4,655 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

running

forest

lake

views

wildlife

snow

hiking
3 months ago

Unique hike! Recommend hiking the forest first and going down into the cave in the far end, get the hard part done first in the cave!

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing 3 day backpacking trip with my cousins! We car camped on Thursday night at Anthony Lakes Camp ground and then drove and parked the cars the next morning .25 miles to Elkhorn Crest Trail head and the shuttle picked us up at 7:30am on Friday morning (call Anthony Lake Resort for this service) to Marble Pass (drive is a good 1.5 hour shuttle with roads normal cars can’t drive on) and hiked 5 miles the first day to Twin Lakes and stayed the first night there. There are at least 100 mountain goats that roam the area and it’s amazing to watch them while you camp! Beware, they are overly friendly and don’t have boundaries, made me nervous at times with their horns and getting in-between a mama and baby goat. Saturday we left Twin Lakes and hiked 13 miles to Summit Lake and stayed there Saturday night, probably the best and scenic lake I have ever seen, must camp at this lake!! Sunday morning we did a BIG oopsie!! Don’t do what we did!!! We were supposed to hike 10 miles back to the Anthony lake/Elkhorn Crest Trail Head and be done! Well we took a wrong turn (previous hiker Robin commented below the exact same place of confusion but they guessed it right, we were less fortunate!!) We ended up going down 2600 feet to just come right back up 2600 feet to get back on the crest to get back to the trail head. It added 4 more miles and 4-5 more hours of our trip. Make sure to stay on the crest unless visiting the lakes. The part we had to come back up was not maintained and the worse terrain I have ever seen, 75+ trees fallen on Trial which meant a lot of crawling under with your pack on and jumping over the trees, it made the steep 3 miles up take longer with the trees and also the Snow Brush bushes that took over majority of the trail up which caused a lot of not knowing where the trail was and hiking through thick and prickly bushes 6 feet tall. Overall beautiful hike but my suggestion is to make sure you stay on the crest and visit the lakes!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

This is a gorgeous backpack trip, truly a jewel in the crown of the Elkhorns. Our group of nine backpacked the trail in three days, two nights. We ranged in age from 17 to 63 and from experienced to beginner. I am 62 and it was my first backpack trip. Here are my thoughts. The signage and the estimates of others via internet reviews is a little off by our groups measurements. From Marble Pass to the drop off into Twin Lakes is 4 miles. It is a 1.25 mile trip down into Twin on nicely done switchbacks. From the Twin Lakes cut off to the Summit Lake junction is 12 miles, according to signage at the beginning of the trail by Marble Pass. We found this to be correct. The drop down into Summit Lake is 1.75 miles of a couple long switchbacks. However, based on internet info. and signage at Marble Pass we had estimated that it would be only 7 miles from the Summit Lake junction to the trailhead at Anthony Lakes. After reaching the main crest trail on the third morning, we shortly saw a sign saying that it was 11 miles to Anthony Lake. A bit crestfallen we hoped it was a mistake. It was not, even though this conflicted with the signage at Marble Pass. So, total trail length if you just stay on the main trail, with no drop down into lakes for camping is 4 plus 12 plus 11 or 27 miles....big difference, especially if you are carrying a pack. Including drop downs into the lakes for overnight camping we did 5.25 miles the first day, 15 miles the second day and 12.75 the third day. The second and third days were very long for our group. We would have enjoyed a rest day at Summit Lake with opportunities for day hiking. We encountered some pretty rough stretches of trail between Twin Lakes and Summit Lake, most of it in the first three miles due to loose gravel and rocks and a few precipitous drop offs. We also encountered a few patches like that between Summit Lake and Anthony Lake. Trekking poles are a must, at least one for support on the downside of the trail. If you don’t have a heavy pack on that will help....but still. Very solid hiking boots are recommended as well. There is one area about a mile or two from Summit Lake, going towards Anthony Lakes at the Peavy Cabin Trail junction, where five trails come together and there is no signage, just some broken bits on the ground. We relied heavily on contour map and compass to figure out which trail to take. Be sure to have those handy. We proceeded a mile or two on the chosen trail before we were absolutely certain that we had picked the right one. Some of the rough spots were clearly the result of slumps that had occurred recently and just needed trail maintenance attention. I was a little surprised that such a gorgeous and major trail appeared to have received little attention for trail maintenance and signage. Perhaps this would be a great volunteer or Boy Scout project. The approach to Marble Pass from the Baker City side is steep and rough going the last 4-5 miles. I have heard that the longer approach from the Sumpter side is a little better. There is room to park and leave your car at Marble Pass. Our first night at Twin Lakes was beautiful but the mountain goats had little fear of us and circled very close to camp. We hung our food and put all gear in our tents. Once we were in our tents they came right into camp, jumped around, called to each other and butted heads. They didn’t settle down until around midnight. Bring earplugs! Fabulous trip but would take four or five days next time so we can better enjoy the scenery and linger more often along the trail.

backpacking
Sat Jul 07 2018

For an experienced backpacker, this is easily doable in 2 nights. Absolutely stunning views, wildlife, and wildflowers. We started at marble creek pass and stayed at twin lakes the first night and summit the second. If you can end at Anthony Lakes on a Sunday during the summer, the starbottle saloon should be open and you can reward yourself for knocking out 23 miles with some beer and pizza.

Fri Oct 03 2014

I had it at 23.Great hike tons of views and wildlife. Plan on 3 days.Stopping at twin lakes a must.Mountain goats all over.

hiking
Fri Aug 31 2012

it is actually 22 miles

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
Sat Aug 19 2017