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Elk Mountain – 6.6mi / 10.6
This hike is not for the faint of heart, but its one-of-a-kind views are exceptional. The trail starts off level in a mixed forest until you get to a patrol cabin. Just past the cabin, the trail begins climbing through the trees and does not let up for almost 2.5 miles until you reach the top.
Once above the treeline, you are rewarded with breathtaking views in all directions. At the ridgeline, you can see the summit as well as the plains to the east. The ground changes from grasses to shale as you head to the peak, which was a site for a former lookout structure.
Trailhead: Look for road 1066, located near mile marker 192 on the northwest side of the US Highway 2. Follow the road until you see the National Park Service access sign near a few parking spaces. Park, follow the railroad access road, cross the tracks, and start on the trail with the Park’s trail sign.
Elevation Gain/Loss: 3,300ft / 990m