ApproachSee the "Getting There Section" of the Elk Mountain page to get to the Elk Mountain Trail and to the summit of Elk Mountain. This trail begins there. It is best to do the combination trail starting at Elk Mountain as it's easier to climb the trail to that summit than to downclimb the loose rock back to the Elk Mountain trailhead.
Route DescriptionFrom the Elk Mountain summit take the trail that dives down on the backside of that rocky meadow. It's steep and can get overgrown. Once at the bottom of that section, the trail heads north along a rocky hogsback in a forest. After about a mile, the trail goes through some forests and comes along the top of the cliffs in the curve of the horseshoe shape of these two mountains. There are some short trails out to the cliff edge if you want to see it closer.
At about the 3 mile mark from the start of the Elk Mountain Trail, the trail becomes an old abandoned logging road. Follow this to a junction in a pass and take the left fork. You are now on Kings Mountain.
The trail starts easy enough but then goes along the backside (west side) of Kings Mountain and the rocky pinnacles. The trail goes up and down and is steep in parts. It can also be overgrown with salmonberry and hard to see the trail. If wet, it gets even harder. After plowing your way through this section (1.7 miles from the junction in the pass) you finally come to the summit and the register.
From here, follow the path through the meadow into the forest and down the mountain for about 2 and 1/2 miles to the Wilson River Trail. Take this trail to the left and it wanders through a swampy area and back up onto the low part of the cliffs of Elk Mountain and back to the Elk Mountain Trailhead.
Total distance is 12 miles and total elevation gain is 4100 feet.