hike: Elk Creek

The Elk Creek Trail is a quiet, forested route in Oregon’s Coast Range on an old logging road that parallels Elk Creek before ascending a ridge of Elk Mountain.

distance: 8 miles (out and back)
elevation gain: 2,100 ft
difficulty: strenuous
best season: fall, spring
drive time from Portland: 1 hour
parking pass:
none
hike description: OregonHikers.org: Elk Creek Hike

The Hike

This is a great forested hike for conditioning in the spring, with trilliums in bloom and ferns starting to unfurl. We hiked to a junction with the Elk Mountain Trail and headed back the same way for a total of 8 miles with 2,100 ft gain.

This sign is for the Wilson River Trail, which turns and crosses Elk Creek after half a mile to reach the Idiot Creek trailhead. For this hike, we continued on the Elk Creek trail instead.

Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike

Elk Creek is always a pretty sight.

Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike

Trilliums alongside the trail

Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike

Oxalis was just starting to bloom

Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike

This mossy rock wall was dripping with water cascading down.

Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike

We were surprised to see a couple of snow patches next to the trail so late in the season.

Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike

At our endpoint, we stopped to have lunch here before turning around and heading back the same way.

Oregon Coast Range - Elk Creek hike