Elk Creek Trail (503)

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

One of the biggest drawing points of this trail is the unique opportunity to combine a Wilderness trip with a ride on a steam locomotive. This same attraction can also affect other aspects of your wilderness experience, by decreasing overall solitude with increased visitation. Elk Creek drains the northern portion of the Grenadier Range, which includes Arrow, Vestal, and the Trinity Peaks; a mecca for mountaineers.

These features, along with access to the Continental Divide Trail, make Elk Creek one of the most heavily used trails in the Weminuche Wilderness. Remember to filter water and practice low-impact camping and follow all Wilderness restrictions. This trail is considered most difficult.

At a Glance

Open Season: Summer - Fall
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Wilderness restrictions apply within Weminuche Wilderness.
Information Center: Columbine Ranger District

General Information


Durango & Silverton Railroad:

Visitors may utilize Durango & Silverton Railroad to access the San Juan National Forest and Weminuche Wilderness.

Access via Molas Trail:

From Durango, CO travel north for 42 miles on US Highway 550, off the top of Molas Pass toward Silverton. Turn east (right) at Molas Lake. Hike 5 miles down Molas Trail to Elk Park. 

USFS Topo Map: Storm King Peak

General Notes:



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  Area/Length : 
8.9 miles

  Elevation : 
12800' - 8300'