You can start this loop at either the Elk Creek Trailhead or the Kings Mountain Trailhead and you can go clockwise or counter-clockwise (although counter-clockwise is more popular as it has you ascending Elk Mountain as opposed to descending it). To save the 3.5 mile Wilson River Trail return, you could do a car shuttle. 

The trail is is steep and rugged in many spots. The trail off the summit of Elk Mountain is a bit exposed and can be challenging in winter conditions. Along the traverse to Kings Mountain there is a fixed line in one place to protect on particularly exposed section.

This trail is not for the beginner hiker.

Activity Notes

The most challenging conditioning hike in the north Oregon coast range, Elk-Kings Traverse is a loop hike that is very steep, features a few scramble moves, and is maintained by Mazamas. Our loop will be counter-clockwise. We will park at the Kings Mountain trailhead and hike the Wilson River Trail to the Elk Mountain trailhead. Then we will ascend Elk Mountain, traverse to Kings Mountain, and descend to the cars. Really the only thing easy about this hike is the start on the Wilson River Trail. Successful applicants for this hike will be in excellent 2022 condition.

Other Information
Driving Distance from Portland 60 miles
Driving Time from Portland 1 hours
Distance - Round Trip 10 miles
Expected Duration Car to car in one day
Awards Qualified Awesome Ridges Award
Useful Links