The Elkhorn Crest Trail (#1611) was established as a National Recreation Trail in 1979. It is the highest trail in the Blue Mountains and runs along the Elkhorn Mountain ridgeline across sub-alpine forests and grasslands. The trail offers panoramic views of the Baker Valley, the distant Wallowa Mountains and the Blue Mountains. Along the way you can also view six high mountain lakes, craggy nearby peaks and maybe catch a glimpse of a herd of elk or resident mountain goats. It is one of the best trail experiences Baker City has to offer! Do this trail as a "point-to-point" or as a fabulous 48 mile "out and back".
There are several end point and side access trailheads for the Elkhorn Crest including the Elkhorn Crest Trailhead on the northend near Anthony Lakes and Marble Pass Trailhead on the south end. Water on the trail is scarce and unsafe to drink if not previously treated. Due to the trail weaving in and out of wilderness, mechanized use is limited on many sections of the trail.
From Anthony Lakes, the trail is 'more difficult', ascending 1,000 feet on the first 2 miles. Then, the trail levels to offer a gentle hike to the south end at Marble Creek Pass with an 'easy' rating.
Advisory: Forest Road 6510 up to Marble Pass Trailhead is very rough, steep and narrow. High clearance four wheel drive vehicles are strongly recommended.
Current Conditions: Current Conditions
Information Center: Whitman Ranger District
History of running efforts:
From preliminary research as far back as Strava goes, I found the following while researching this route.
- Men's times:
- Mixed-Gender Teams
- Female Times:
- 2020 Makensie Forsyth in 6:13:43 (S-N)
Strava Segment for N-S Traverse: https://www.strava.com/segments/12507145
Strava Segment for S-N Traverse (not complete): https://www.strava.com/segments/27432641
Accommodations: There is a great bicycle/ski hostel called "Old School Bike/Ski Hostel" on the inexpensive, historic end or "The Geyser Grand" on the more fancy, historic end. I actually went to Churchill School my 6th grade year the last year it was a school.