ApproachSee the "Getting There Section" for directions to the trailhead at the Elk Creek Campground.
Route DescriptionThe trail is marked by a blue dot on a tree at the far end of the campgound in a small parking area. The trail starts off steep and keeps on going and is scrambly in places. Watch your footing as the rock can be loose and falls would not be fun. Once you gain most of the elevation you'll traverse across 4 saddles to the summit which is a small meadow with a post and summit register. If continuing on to Kings Mountain from here the trail dives off the back side of the summit meadow.
Total distance is 2.1 miles and elevation gain is 2000 feet.
An option to make this a longer loop (but not the big Elk-Kings loop) returning back to the same trailhead is provided by retired jerry:
After reaching the summit, continue to the junction of the trail with Kings Mountain. Go right and continue for 0.8 miles to the junction with the Elk Creek trail, which goes back to the Elk Mountain trailhead. Total loop distance is 8.5 miles. Total elevation gain is about 2500 feet. The trailhead is 900 feet. High point is 3100 feet between the junction with Kings Mountion and the Elk Creek trail. You lose and gain back about a total of 300 feet along the Elk Mountain ridge.
This loop is a little shorter than the 12 mile Elks/Kings Mountain combination loop.