Wilson River Trail to Idiot Creek Loop Road along Elk Creek
This is a moderate out and back trail in Tillamook State Forest. The trail starts at Elk Creek Campground, follows Elk Creek along the Wilson River Trail to Idiot Creek Road. The hike is through second-growth Douglas Fir, but with enough deciduous forest to bring out fall colors. While the hike isn't particularly unique, it is a good moderate hike; reasonable distance, with some elevation gain on a well-maintained trail and a few views on a clear day. Note the bridge over Elk Creek is removed in the winter and requires some rock hopping or fording. Best in the fall before the bridge is removed or the trail is icy.
This trail starts at Elk Creek Campground. Drive all the way to the end of the road, past the privy and camping to a turnaround and trail parking. The trail heads north from the turnaround along Elk Creek. Note the Wilson River trail also heads east from this same parking lot. Tillamook State Forest Trail Guide.
The hike gently follows Elk Creek until Elk Creek and the West Fork Elk Creek split. At this point, a cold water ford is required after the bridge is removed in the fall, which is not suitable for children. The trail is then series of continuous switchbacks of no interest to most children. Continuing the hike up the West Fork is a better bet for children.
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