Beginning at Elk Creek Campground (closed in winter, adding 0.5 miles to each end of the hike) start with a difficult climb. Ascend 1860 feet in 1.66 miles to the summit of Elk Mountain. But don’t stop there! Take in amazing views of the Coast Range, then continue down the backside of Elk losing and regaining hundreds of feet of elevation several times as you cross the traverse to King’s Mountain Summit 3 country miles away. Be warned: You will need hands and feet at times to scramble along this trail. Not recommended if there is any ice!
( An Alternate option exists of looping with Elk Creek, for those who find this cross between mountains too much).
Strong knees, heart, and lungs are required on this one; once you reach the summit of Kings, descend 2465 feet over 2.1 miles to the junction with the Wilson River Trail. You can leave a car here for a shuttle, or for those who just haven’t had enough – hike another 3.87 miles back to your car along the creek. The first half of this is a pleasant enough stroll, but then you gain another 500 feet of elevation again after the third bridge crossing. Bring plenty of fuel.
-Mapped by Echo Hobbs