14 miles
681 ft
-887 ft
Avg time
Trail Supporters, Builders & Maintainers of Elkhorn Crest Trail

Elkhorn Crest Trail Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • E-Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
    • Dirtbike
  • Riding Area
    Elkhorn Mountains
    Baker City, Oregon
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Trail Type
  • Bike Type
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Season
    Late spring summer - fall
  • Dogs Allowed
  • eBike Allowed
  • Ride in Rain
  • Global Ranking
    #24390 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    70 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking

Some trails are physically difficult, with long, grinding climbs; other are technically challenging, with endless rocky exposure. The Elkhorn Crest Trail is both, but that’s not all: it may also be Oregon’s most beautiful ride, just a narrow ribbon of singletrack that threads past jagged peaks, alpine lakes, and shaggy mountain goats. Toss in a three-mile, hell-raising descent to finish and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better adventure for those who possess both strong legs and nerves of steel.

Route Details
There is no sugar-coating it: the climb is brutal. Six miles of loose, steep doubletrack that will have you questioning your decision to embark on the ride. It’s worth it, though, so take your time and enjoy the variations in the landscape and geology as you climb towards Marble Pass.

Once you’re on the trail you are mercifully rewarded with a rolling alignment that gives your legs a break. Surfing along at 8,000’ above sea level affords amazing views in all directions but you’ll have to stop to enjoy them because the narrow, jagged tread demands every ounce of your attention. You’ll make steady progress but your hands will cramp from death-gripping your bars as you link together an endless array of moves over rock notches and around outcroppings. The exposure is omnipresent and you don’t want to fall this deep in the backcountry.

You’ll pass a couple trail intersections but pay them no mind as you continue to head northwest along the ridgeline. About 11 miles from the start of the trail you’ll hit a mining claim with a hilarious and otherworldly bit of folk art that creates a mandatory photo op. Time to turn around and retrace some of your route but don’t be discouraged, the trail feels sufficiently different heading back.

Once you’re returned to the shadow of the namesake Elkhorn Peak, prepare to drop down the scenic and challenging Twin Lakes trail. After miles of traversing you’ll have to reacquaint yourself with tight switchbacks that appear to have been blasted into the bedrock. You’ll brush alongside the Twin Lakes and make sure to stop so you can marvel at the pristine, cool waters that are feed by the surrounding cirques.

After the lakes, the trail continues plummeting on one of the best descents in the state, with fast, raw singletrack that is punctuated by switchbacks, roots, rocks, and a single-log bridge. The trees fly by as you dive deeper into the forest, eventually peeling off 3,000’ by the time you hit the three miles of doubletrack descending that will take you back to your car. Congratulations, you’ve just ridden one of the best trails in Oregon

More Stats for Elkhorn Crest Trail bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -206 ft
  • Altitude min
    7,444 ft
  • Altitude max
    8,324 ft
  • Altitude start
    7,667 ft
  • Altitude end
    7,461 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    5 miles
  • Distance down
    8 miles
  • Distance flat
    1,650 ft
  • Avg time
  • view trail stats
on Sep 22, 2019
Avg: 4 (3 votes)

view (13)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Ridden Direction
Trailforks scans users ridelogs to determine the most popular direction each trail is ridden. A good flowing trail network will have most trails flowing in a single direction according to their intension.
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
Trail Last Ridden
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine the last time a trail was ridden.
  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
  • most popular
  • popular
  • less popular
  • not popular

Trail Difficulties
  • Access Road/Trail
  • White
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Double Black Diamond

Trail Report Status
  • Clear / Green
  • Minor Issue / Yellow
  • Significant Issue / Amber
  • Closed

  • Land Owner Overlay
  • Wilderness (typically no bikes in USA)
  • BLM (public)
  • USFS (Wildlife sanctuaries darker than usfs)
  • State land
  • Indigenous
  • Military
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
  • Map Markers
  • trail Trail Head
  • photo Photo
  • place Directory Listing
  • region Riding Area
  • Parking Parking
  • Viewpoint Viewpoint
  • Information Information
  • Warning Warning
  • Directions Directions
  • Sight Sight
  • Restrooms Restrooms
  • eBike Charging Point eBike Charging Point
  • Water Fountain/Source Water Fountain/Source
  • Gate Gate
  • Trail Sign Trail Sign
  • Table or Bench Table or Bench
  • Ladder Ladder
  • Stairs Stairs
  • Bridge Bridge
  • Camping Camping
  • Cabin Cabin
  • Lodge Lodge
  • Bear Cache Bear Cache
  • Dock Dock
  • Ranger Station Ranger Station
  • Summit Summit
  • Other Other
      Directions to elkhorn-crest-trail trailhead (44.773560, -118.043830)
      update trails status or condition

      Elkhorn Crest Trail Trail Reports

      Sep 22, 2019 @ 11:31am
      Sep 22, 2019
      Trail conditions were excellent. That said, the downhill single track at the top descending down towards twins lakes is pretty sketchy just...
      Sep 26, 2017 @ 7:48am
      Sep 26, 2017
      Trail's in great shape if a little dry. Go get it before the snow falls again.
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      6 Months
      • 3 rides
      • 20 miles avg distance
      • 12 rides


      more »
      265 |
      Aug 21, 2017 @ 8:12pm
      Aug 21, 2017
      272 |
      Aug 21, 2017 @ 8:12pm
      Aug 21, 2017
      408 |
      Nov 2, 2016 @ 12:21pm
      Nov 2, 2016
      367 |
      Nov 2, 2016 @ 12:21pm
      Nov 2, 2016

      Routes with this trail

      Elkhorn Crest Trail + Summit Lake Trail shuttle
      30 miles

      1 Review & Comments

      • + 0
      flag dkscott (Aug 21, 2017 at 20:20)
       This is a phenomenal trail. While not that technically challenging and no huge climbs to tackle, the narrow trail and sustained exposure is exhilarating and mentally taxing. Strongly recommend flat pedals for this one. The first few miles of trail are wider with less exposure. The approach road can be a little rough and steep. Good tires and clearance are a must.

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