This route ascends and descends two popular, rugged mountains in the Oregon Coast range, Kings Mt and Elk Mt, and connects them via the Wilson River Trail. These mountains sit at lower elevations than some of the mountains in the Columbia River Gorge and Mt Hood, meaning that this trail can be used nearly year round.
The FKT route as described here starts at the Kings Mt Trailhead, but runners can choose to start at the Elks trailhead on the east side instead if they prefer. Note that there is a Strava segment that does not include the short distance from the TH to the actual loop. Report your TH-TH time, NOT segment time! You climb 2500 ft over 2 miles to the summit of Kings Mt (3205 ft). After reaching the summit, traverse the ridge towards Kings Mt via technical and exposed trails, including a part of the trail that uses a fixed rope for safety. Once reaching the Elk Mt - Kings Mt Trail junction (2978 ft), take the steep and rugged trail towards Elk Mtn. Once at the summit of Elk Mt, descend 1.3 mi/1900 ft of technical trail until you reach the Wilson River- Elk Mt trail junction, and return to the start of the loop via the 3.5 mi Wilson River Trail.
(Editor's Note: FKT loops are often described in one direction, but can be run in either direction).
- Submitted by Alex Borsuk
Today I ran the women’s unsupported FKT in 2:25:27! This was my third time running the loop and just about the prettiest I’ve ever seen it with all the flowers and mist. This was my first time testing speed/strength on trails in a while, as I’m usually too afraid of falling or doing something dumb to run very fast. Today I was especially careful in the more tricky downhill sections, which probably cost me some time, but I cranked it up on the initial ascent to Kings and had fun letting loose in the last relatively flat miles along Wilson River Trail.
My approach was from the Kings Trailhead and then I took a lap split at the Wilson River-Kings Mt Trail Junction to mark my official start. I ran the loop clockwise, going up to Kings, to Elk, then closing the loop via Wilson River Trail. I took my lap split again at the same intersection where I started for a time of 2:25:27. On the official Strava segment it shows my time as 2:25:45 for some reason, but I went with my manual split since that would be more accurate.
Here’s the run on Strava: https://strava.app.link/UY8uAFjeJ6
Yes, I did earlier today. Thanks for checking!
Quick note- the FKT route description has been updated/clarified to include the short section of trail from the Kings trailhead to the Wilson River junction, making my total time 2:27:47.