Elk Mountain Loop via Kings Mountain Trail and Wilson River Trail
This is a very difficult loop in the Tillamook State Forest. The route climbs Elk Mountain, Kings Mountain and returns to the Elk Mountain Trailhead via the Wilson River Trail. The complete loop is 10.8 miles with ~3400 ft of elevation gain. There are great views of the surrounding logged forest, as well as Mt Hood and Mt Adams.
The trails up and down Elk and Kings Mountains are very steep, sometimes exposed and slippery. The route is not technical although there is a rope along one steep slope on the east side of Kings Mountain. There is a brief, relatively flat respite along an old road between Elk and Kings Mountains.
The route is well signed.
The hike can be started at either the Elk Creek Trailhead or Kings Mountain Trailhead. By starting at Elk Creek the hike ends with the relatively easy traverse along the Wilson River back to your car.
The Elk Creek Trailhead is at milepost 28 on Oregon Highway 6. Head north on Elk Creek Road past the campground parking to the designated trailhead parking. There is a restroom in the campground.
The Kings Mountain trailhead is near milepost 25 on OR Highway 6.