Elk Trail Loop trail photo
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Length: 9 mi (14.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Lariat
Elevation: +449/ -435 ft
Total: 3 riders

Mountain Biking Elk Trail Loop

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#209 of 317 mountain bike trails in Idaho
#17,890 in the world

The Elk Trail Loop is all single track, alot of it on old road beds and alot of it on well trodden game trail. Very challenging singletrack and a steep and fun downhill. Couple this trail with the views of the mountains and you have the makings of a classic ride.

During Springtime, it is not uncommon to see Deer, Antelope and hundreds of Elk. Wolves have been seen in the area as well, they usually see you first though, so consider yourself lucky if you catch a glimpse.

From the Trailhead head up Wagonhammer Creek about a mile to a stream crossing. From hang a right and start climbing. Follow this old road bed up and up until you get to a saddle on a ridge, here stay on the old road bed and hang a hard left. Continue climbing, the trail then levels out and you come to another saddle and a gate. Cross the gate/fence and to the left near the the fence is a singletrack.
This begins a long sidehill section of trail along a wide open and steep face. After about a mile of this the trail comes to another fence and saddle. Cross the fence and look to the left here for the continuation of the loop (there is an obvious trail to the right...this one dead ends).
Another mile or so of sidehilling and the trail comes to a prominent ridge w/ a carsonite Lewis and Clark sign (yeah, those guys were here before you). Check your brakes, take in the view, and drop straight down the ridge.
At the next Lewis and Clark sign go hard right and keep descending, follow the main trail all the way back down to Wagonhammer Creek and another fence crossing. You just dropped 1000' in just over a mile!!
The trail now parallels the creek, with a couple more fence crossings and creek crossings, all the way back to the trailhead.

If your legs need more, add a Burns Loop by going right at the post in the meadow after the rocky road bed section that follows the descent described above.

Please Close ALL Gates between June 1 and Sept 1.

First added by chukt on May 3, 2012. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
To get to the Wagonhammer Trailhead from Salmon, head north on US93 for about 20 miles to the little rest area just past the Wagonhammer Campground and the USFS portal sign. Go right on the dirt road that leaves the rest area. Trailhead is about 1/4 mile up this road.

From North Fork, ID head south about 2 miles to said rest area. Go left and up the gravel road.

Elk Trail Loop Trail map

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Trail conditions

Wet (on Nov 1, 2014)
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