14.2 miles
1,209 ft
-1,286 ft
Avg time
Supporters, Builders, Maintainers & Land Managers of Elkhorn Crest Trail

  • USFS
    Land Manager

Elkhorn Crest Trail Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • E-Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
    • Dirtbike/Moto
  • Riding Area
    Elkhorn Mountains
    Baker City, Oregon
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Voted Difficulty
    Double Black Diamond (1 vote)
  • Trail Type
  • Bike Type
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Season
    Late spring summer - fall
  • Dogs Allowed
  • eBike Allowed
    Yes up to Class 1
  • Ride in Rain
  • Global Ranking
    #59065 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • #33121 in E-Biking
    • #36857 in Trail Running
  • Local Popularity
    85 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in E-Biking
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking
    • 5 in Dirtbiking
  • Land Owner
    Wallowa–Whitman National Forest

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.

Route Details
It's difficult to get to, requiring either a bouncy shuttle ride or a brutal doubletrack climb, but once you’re on the trail you are mercifully rewarded with a rolling alignment. 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. This is a good turn-around spot or you can keep going for a couple more miles before you hit the Wilderness boundary. Don’t be discouraged, the trail feels sufficiently different heading back.

Rather than completely retrace your steps, you can loop back down to the valley floor either to the east via Summit Lake Trail or to the west via the scenic and challenging Twin Lakes Trail. Just remember to plan ahead and not accidentally drop the wrong way or you'll be in for a very long ride

Riding Season
The high elevation keeps the trail buried in snow until summer; make sure to check the conditions before heading up the pass. The trail stays clear through fall, and even though early-season storms drop a little snow it can melt away in a matter of days.

Local Trail Association
Traditionally Indigenous Territory
More Stats for Elkhorn Crest Trail mountain bike trail trail
  • Altitude change
    -70 ft
  • Altitude min
    7,439 ft
  • Altitude max
    8,386 ft
  • Altitude start
    7,545 ft
  • Altitude end
    7,474 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    6 miles
  • Distance down
    6 miles
  • Distance flat
    2 miles
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Aug 9, 2021
Avg: 4.25 (4 votes)
Your vote: 0

view (51)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Flow (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%
  • bi-directional trail
  • no data
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
Contribute Details
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
Max Vehicle Width

Radar Time
x Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public ridelogs from the past 6 months.
  • mountain biking recent
  • mountain biking (>6 month)
  • hiking (1 year)
  • moto (1 year)
Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public skilogs from the past 12 months.
  • Downhill Ski
  • Backcountry Ski
  • Nordic Ski
  • Snowmobile
Winter Trails
Warning A routing network for winter maps does not exist. Selecting trails using the winter trails layer has been disabled.
x Missing Trails
Most Popular
Least Popular
Trails are colored based on popularity. The more popular a trail is, the more red. Less popular trails trend towards green.
Jump Magnitude Heatmap
Heatmap of where riders jump on trails. Zoom in to see individual jumps, click circles to view jump details.
Trails Deemphasized
Trails are shown in grey.
Only show trails with NO bikes.

Save the current map location and zoom level as your default home location whenever this page is loaded.

      Directions to elkhorn-crest-trail trailhead (44.773410, -118.043660)
      update trails status or condition

      Elkhorn Crest Trail Trail Reports

      Aug 9, 2021 @ 10:25am
      Aug 9, 2021
      "epic" trail. top 5 in PNW for sure. Ride it East to West. So many view spots its unbelievable. some chunky rocks in spots and lots of exposure...
      Jul 11, 2021 @ 8:45am
      Jul 11, 2021
      Fabulous. Rode 28 miles out & back from Marble Pass. Saw 4 backpackers, 2 mountain goats, and about a million butterflies.
      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
      • 6 rides
      • 21 miles avg distance
      • 41 rides
      • Last: Aug 11, 2023


      more »
      36 |
      Jul 31, 2023 @ 6:56pm
      Jul 31, 2023
      35 |
      Jul 31, 2023 @ 6:56pm
      Jul 31, 2023
      26 |
      Jul 31, 2023 @ 6:56pm
      Jul 31, 2023
      44 |
      Jul 31, 2023 @ 6:56pm
      Jul 31, 2023

      Routes with this trail

      Elkhorn Crest Trail Loop32 miles
      Elkhorn Crest Trail + Summit Lake Trail shuttle30 miles

      4 Reviews & Comments

      We hope you've been enjoying Trailforks!

      Create a FREE account to view trail comments and much more.


      more »
      youtuber Epic Views and Everpresent Danger on Elkhorn Crest
      13:08 | 24 | Aug 27, 2023 , Baker City
      • By briceshirbach & contributors
      • #35373 - 6,976 views
      • subscribe
      • flag
      • login to download gpx or kml files.