Reaching the summit of Elk Mountain is an arduous task. The trail climbs nearly 2,000 feet in less than 2 miles, and the steepness is compounded by loose in many places. This is a hike that you will appreciate having poles! You'll get several great opportunities to soak in some views on your way to the summit. Once there, take a moment to sign it at the summit register (maintained by the Mazamas!) before dropping off the backside of Elk to reach to Elk Creek Trail.

The junction to Elk Creek Trail is about 2 miles from the summit of Elk Mountain. Returning via Elk Creek offers a different view of this section of forest with fir trees giving way to alder. With the legacy of the Tillamook Burn fires up through 1950, this is a young forest, but the recovery has been swift with no sign of fire damage and with healthy trees throughout.

More details:

Activity Notes

Hey Gang,

Back for more I see!  Hopefully last weekend was an eye-opening experience for you and you are eager for more!  Today I present unto you a far more challenging hike and PNW classic: Elk Mountain.  Again we will meet at the at 7am at the Elk Creek trailhead (  I recommend carpooling from the Target on 185th & Evergreen in Hillsboro (  We will be going up Elk Mountain and then back down to Elk Creek.  Here's the hike info:

Again, we will be practicing more technical skills.  Be prepared to tie all of your knots again and get ready for some more sick rappels!  Please bring all of your climbing gear with you (listed below) on this hike (and every hike).  Please be prepared with enough warm clothing & raingear to be standing around outdoors for a few hours.

You will need: Helmet, harness, personal protective leash (we will make it), rappel device and large locking carabiner, autoblock and locking carabiner, prussik (we will make it) and locking carabiner.

Here's a link to the Prospectus:

Other Information
Driving Distance from Portland 52 miles
Driving Time from Portland 1 hours
Distance - Round Trip 7 miles
Expected Duration Car to car in one day
Interesting Features Mountain Views, Ridgelines, Spectacular Views