Explore the most popular trails near Elk City with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Elk City, Kansas Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
rocky
scramble
2 days ago

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Start is a bit hard with many rocks. Trail is long and need 1 day to walkthrough it.

backpacking
2 months ago

Sept 14-15. There were 4 in our group; all first time visitors to this trail we’ve heard great things about. We were not disappointed! The Kansas Trails Council has done an outstanding job of getting the trail cleared. We found the trail both challenging and rewarding. Hiking west to east, we set up camp about halfway through. Trail is very well marked. Looking forward to a return trip.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

It’s an alright trail. Table Mound is better. Too long for too little payoff. So many spiders and webs, you need to bring a stick to go before you.

hiking
3 months ago

7/13-7/14. Coming from the west trail head the trail is completely flooded, trail marker are underwater, unable to find a way around it. Coming from the east trail head trail becomes un-passable at about 4.3 miles. One part of the trail is covered in drift wood, another you have to go about 1/8 off trail to get across water.

A small group and I backpacked this trail over three days in May 2019. It’s one of the best trails I’ve ever been on— definitely the best in Kansas. There are lots of interesting rock features, water holes, creeks, and changes of scenery. We went backwards on the trail (west to east) and found that very enjoyable. We camped around mile 10 and mile 3 (again— we did it backwards). The campsite at mile marker 10 is excellent. A quiet low area with soft ground and an excellent, clean, flowing water source. The most scenic areas are between mile marker 9 and 7. If you hike it backwards, be advised— there are not many good water sources from mile marker 4 to the trailhead. The trail is generally clean and easy to follow with lots of great, varying terrain. The most challenging parts are between mile marker 1 and 4. We saw about three snakes on the trail, so be advised of that. There was also some poison ivy near mile marker 1 to the end of the trail.

backpacking
muddy
off trail
over grown
washed out
5 months ago

We hiked the east side on 05/31/2019-06/01/2019. Coming from the East side the trail is clear to the 2 mile marker. Between the 2 & 3 mile marker the trail goes underwater. It is possible to get around it, but the trail goes underwater several more times between marker 2 and 7 (which is as far as we went). See my recording from 06/01/2019. We camped around mile marker 5, but a long ways from the trail. We ended up going due north across fields and fences to the county road and walking it back to the trail head. We literally had a beaver swimming the trail in front of us at one point. This is usually a great trail and I hike it frequently, but I would recommend waiting probably 3 weeks for the trail to become passable on the east side. Hope this helps.

muddy
rocky
5 months ago

We hiked this 5-17 & 5-18. We started from the west trailhead only to make it about 1.5 miles in before stopping due to high water. Beautiful views, rocky terrain and lots of shade. Encountered several types of snakes, lizards and a group of armadillos which followed us for a short time. This trail is amazing and look forward to coming back in the fall when the flood waters recede and the leaves begin to change. Definitely start on the East trailhead if you want to go further on the trail. They have received alot of rain in this area.

great trail!! we just did this trail 5/18-5/20. if you enter via the west trailhead, be aware the trail is completely flooded and inaccessible around mile 1.5. Going in from the east trailhead, there are several areas between mile 6 and 12 where the trail is flooded but can still be accessed. The trail is again completely flooded around mile 12.25. Great hike with great scenery and views, lots of animal tracks, even saw some armadillos!

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

Great training hike for 2 crews of Boy Scouts getting ready for a trip to Philmont. Started at the east trail head and camped at the 10 mile marker. Finished the last 5 miles the next morning. Was a great hike. Plenty of mud in places but was expected due to the recent rains. Highly recommended.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Great two-day hike. We started by the dam and it took about 4 hours to make it to the ~7.5-mile mark where we camped for the night. We hiked the other half the next morning from 9 am to 1 pm. We are an athletic family but it was still taxing on the ankles and feet due to the rocky, uneven path in many spots. It is by far the best trail in KS. Views that look more like the Ozarks. There is a trailhead around 9.5 miles where you can drop water for the 2nd day. You could also drop a car there if you wanted to cut the second day short. The waterfall is in the 2nd half but isn't that great. There are good views after the 9.5-mile mark but most of them are similar to the first half. For us, it was about spending family time so I think I would have cut the hike at the 9.5-mile mark and spend more time camping but that is just personal preferences. There are nice views and cool stone walls\overhangs on probably 13 of the 15 miles of trail - a little lighter as you get to the Elk City side. My 10-year-old daughter carried a full pack with very little help the whole way. I wouldn't want to push her any harder but she would tell you it was fun. Around the 7.5 mile mark, there is a road\dirt trail that crosses the path and heads down to the water. If you follow those tracks about 300ft you will find a cool place to camp about a 100ft off the water where people have already built a fire pit.

This is a great trail with lota of scenery and difficult (doable) terrain. The path was a bit muddy due to recent rain so wear your hiking boots. We will definitely be back to explore some more of this area.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Was a great hike. Marked great, plenty of shade and on 3/22 minimal snakes. Seeing trash on the path

This doesnt appear to be the right trail. Start up top at the scenic overlook. Or down in the state park gazebo area. Take my advice here. The top half is spectacular with awesome rocky winding trails! Absolutely the best in the entire state! The bottom half (below the paved road) is decent but nothing super unique. You get to cross 3 little babbling brooks during raining season (easy to cross). Trails are easy to see and well maintained. #1 hike in Kansas easily!

Very scenic trail, rocky and difficult at times, will rehike often.

backpacking
11 months ago

Greatly enjoyed the trail! Took my wife and kids backpacking and spent the night out on the trail. Highly recommend. We started on the down by the dam though. Had some tricky spots going through crevices but was pretty easy and great views.

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked end to end starting at East trailhead on Monday the 26th of November. Started at 7:17am. 23 degrees with light snow cover over everything. It warmed up to above freezing around noon and the trail got pretty sloppy. This trail is a major workout for your ankles and knees. Very rocky terrain and lots of elevation changes. Seen lots of wildlife (deer, squirrels, tons of ducks and geese and one eagle on the lake). We also seen some wild hog tracks around mile 11. We finished at 4:45pm so little over 9.5hrs to complete the entire thing. We did stop and ate lunch for about 30 mins. Great hike, perfect weather. Not what you'd expect in Kansas. There is a trailhead at around mile 9 if you don't want to hike the entire thing and another road at around mile 13, but you'll need to leave the trail to find the road about 1/4 mile from trail. It's really easy to find using google maps.

Hiked on Black Friday. Pretty much on my own with my dogs. Hiked middle section from road to road Very cool rocks Very rocky path You need very good shoes. Would like to come back in the spring. Great views of valley. Some pretty cool camping spots under cliffs.

Awesome trail that was very well marked. Super clean with some nice elevation changes. Plenty of streams and overall great trail!!

Great trail, went out for a short day hike today and it didn't disappoint. Beautiful bluffs over looking the lake, lot's of ups and downs. I look forward to completing the whole trail.

Really a beautiful trail. Lots of sights that you won't find commonly in Kansas. Some rock climbs here and there added to the fun and brought the challenge level up a bit. Picked up a few ticks, but not that big of an issue. Only real complaint is the cow crap. It's all over the trail and in some parts is hard to avoid.

hiking
Mon Jun 18 2018

I've been hiking/backpacking on this Trail for years, it was the first Trail my kids backpacked on when they were little. Hiked it from end to end today with a couple of friends, and it didn't disappoint. Wildlife sightings, beautiful views, mostly shaded. Sturdy boots highly recommended, and plenty of water is a must. (Don't depend on water sources along the trail.) Trail is very clearly marked!

backpacking
Sat May 26 2018

Very cool trail. More technical/steep rocks sections than expected. Lots of creek crossings. Many turtles spotted on the trail. The trail is well marked with blue paint and metal sign mile markers on trees. When we decided not to go further we went up the hillside and there was plenty of flat shady area to set up camp. Try not to go right after any kind of rain if you’re not prepared for lots of mud. If your intent is to swim at any point you should start at the end point because the river water is stagnant dirty water.

Load More