Very nice day to be on this trail-warm, sunny, light breeze. Some snow near summit, but very little and not on the trail. Nice hike, always fun to hike a trail that was built before they invented switchbacks. By the way, Kudos to whoever did the whole Elk/ Kings Mtn. loop on mountain bikes. Awesome views from the Ocean to Mt. Hood.
We thought we saw a mobile meth lab parked across from us at the trailhead starting out. Hike was cloudy, rainy, foggy, cold, etc. Getting up Elk is fun. Never allows you to develop a steady pace. Your heart rate is always going up & down making for good training. The U between is great. Pretty easy until you get closer to Kings & wrap along the backside of the ridge. If there's snow back there (like this time) you'll have a fun time crawling up it & sliding down it while reaching for anything to hold onto. Try not to slide off the edge in the snow, it's a long way down & taxpayers hate that stuff. Kings & down, no problem. Then just the long, never ending hike back to Elk trailhead after that. But you'll get an average workout in that portion. Saw no sasquatch this time. Suspected mobile meth lab was still there when we got back, but looked abandoned by it's 2 former operators. Thank God for CHL's & hi-cap mags.
I hit the trail at 7:45 am and signed the summit log at 9:10 am; took some time at the summit to eat the rest of my Hostess Ho-Ho's, and was back at my truck by 10:10 am. Usually I'm not such a numbers guy, but I was on a timeline.
There was low fog resting in the Wilson River basin and a high smattering of clouds, allowing the sun to shine at the summit. It afforded views to the south and to the west, but obstructed everything else. Little to no wind was felt throughout the morning.
Snow dusting began showing up at about 2000 feet with about two to three inches of new at the summit. I didn't see anyone else on the trail, just a car at the trailhead when I returned.
I was in Tillamook by 11 am to eat at the Locomotion with old friends.
Great day. Started at Elk, which was fun to say the least then wandered around the U to Kings. The U is the best part of the trip. Well worth it. Did not see any Sasquatch, but did see a Liger in a tree. I fought it off with my bow staff though. If you do the loop start at Elk and don't count on the Wilson river trail back to be as flat as it starts out. Also you'll find some Blair Witch-like rock piles on the U part.
Summited at 10:00AM. Good conditioner......I was the first one up. Waited for two hours for someone else. Nobody! Passed ten people on my way down.
An exciting Coast Range hike. These mountains feel surprisingly big and the trails are plenty steep. Some of the prettiest spots were on the trail connecting the two mountains at their bases. In 2002 my girlfriend lost a pair of thick black-framed glasses somewhere near the summit. On the off chance that someone finds them...
On my way into P-town late on a Friday night, I hiked on up and bivied by the picnic table just before the clearing. Had a light dusting of snow in the middle of the night.
Got up before dawn and it was socked in fog 360 degrees. Hoofed it down to find a large herd of elk crossing the trail in the dawning sun... I yielded the right of way.
I was Portland in time to eat pancakes with the family.
Nice quick hike for a bit of exercise on a Sunday afternoon. This trail is steep!! The lower woods were very green with some small wildflowers just starting to bloom, but on the summit there were still little patches of snow. Didn't have enough time to do the whole Kings Mtn - Elk Mtn traverse but would like to check it out sometime.
It was like walking through a cold shower 3/4 of the way up. The Last 1/4 we were greeted by constant snowfall. Nothing like getting soaked to the bone then hanging out in the snow.
Great afternoon hike to a viewfest and sunshine at summit. If others take dogs up there I would advise leashing them sometime shortly after the picnic table near summit, there are some big drop-offs that could easily swallow a fluffy critter.
Nice hike for an afternoon. Trail is steep in some areas. Near the top you can get to the edge of a few nice size cliffs with lookouts to the northwest (I think), be careful though. Beautiful view of Cascade mountains, and you can see the Pacific as well.
Great hike, had the best weather one could ask for. Blue sky's, a little windy on top, but didn't stop me from having lunch with a view. No summit log to sign in on?? Trail conditions were good, with only 1 tree over trail (that I can remember).
More ascents: notch. notch. notch.
Hiked it with Shirley in miserable weather. Started out as a drizzle and turned into a downpour with high wind gusts. Nice short and fairly steep hike. The views are probably nice from the top but we saw relatively little. To our surprise there was NO trace of snow anywhere!
6/30/01-Great hike from the summit of Elk Mountain. Steep scramble down off that one to a rocky hogback in a forest to the cliffs along the horseshoe. Had lunch on a cliff with my feet dangling over the side. Trail went behind the pinnacles into an area overgrown with salmonberry and got a tick on me there. Bushwhacked my way to the summit of Kings Mountain and signed the summit register. Came down the Kings Mountain Trail to Wilson River Trail and back through a swampy area to a sunny cliff where another tick got on me (I HATE those things). Finally made it back to my car as the chafing began from my sweaty cotton undergarments. Felt beat up afterwards but it was cool to complete this double summit hike.
5/8/05-Skies stopped the rain for a couple hours to let me do this one dry. Up from the Kings Mountain Trailhead in 1 hr 10 mins. New register box up top but the tube itself was too tight to open. Nice flowers in the clear spots up top. Great day.
2/5/06-Started early as I wanted to do two peaks today. A short while in to the hike I heard what sounded like someone yelling below me. Shortly after there were many yells and I realized it was a pack of coyotes whooping it up down there. Up in an hour and a half, maybe an inch of snow up top. Down in an hour, nice hike up into the sun. On to Neahkahnie after this.
1/21/07 Up in about an hour and a half again. Back shortly after. Great winter morning.
3/4/07 With Annie, her first time up. Lotsa snow. Good food and beer after in Helvetia. Great morning.
March 2009 with Luna-fun in the snow. That dog loves to eat snow.
1/24/10 Up the Coronary Ridge route. Not worth it in my opinion. Too slow on an old road due to constant blowdown. A lot of confusing tape on the trees due to logging/timber interests. Looks like it will all be clear cut soon anyway. Hope not. The tape is not marking trails but logging boundaries, hard to tell where I was to go. Just before the old road ends, there is too much blowdown on it and it looks impassable. I followed what looks like an older fainter road around to the right that leads back to the main road around the blowdown. Pay close attention to the route page, it is accurate. Where the road ends and there is a talus/scree field being overgrown on the left, head that way on a faint ridge that turns into a path higher up. That is the correct way to meet up with the Wilson River Trail that shortly meets the Coronary Ridge route on the right. From there on, it's straightforward. Don't think I'll go that way again. It's not shorter and takes way too much time unless you really want the solitude.
7/18/10 With Luna. Up in 1 hr 20 minutes, down in an hour. Warm and sunny. Japanese couple up top and he kept shooting snot out of his nostrils and farting loudly while she was doing deep knee bends. Was very odd.
5/2014 Up and down for a quick bit of exercise
8/17/14 Did two laps on the mountain today in 80+ degree temps to get over 5000 feet. First lap, up in 1 hr 18 mins, down in 50 mins. Second lap -- uh -- not as fast. Somewhere between 1h30m and 1 hr 45 mins up and about 50-55 down. People were looking at me weird for doing it twice. Lots of dogs on the mountain today.
3/29/15 With Sue. Started at Kings TH then over to Elk. Then did the traverse over to Kings. Car to car in 5 hrs 30 min. Kinda tired now.
6/27/15 With Luna. Trying to beat the 100 degree heat in Portland. Full alpine pack training, no trekking poles. Still was about 80 and humid. Up 1:37, down under an hour.
Spring 2016 sometime with Luna, flurries up top.
6/12/16 with Luna, Diane and Ramsey. Up in 1:21, wildflowers on display. Ran and hiked back up 1040 feet to pick up a dropped fleece. Then, on to Tillamook for some ice cream!
1/29/17 with Luna. Wonderfully mild January day. Lots of other happy dogs on the trail today.
Summer 2017 solo
1/21/18 with Luna, snow up top
5/12/18 solo, up 1:16, down about 50 mins.