Elk Lake Creek Trail #559

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

This trail enters the Bull of the Woods Wilderness.  This trail is a major north-south route traversing the east side of the Bull of the Woods Wilderness Area. Within Bull of the Woods Wilderness. From the trailhead the trail follows Elk lake Creek to a junction with Welcome Lakes Trail #554. Hike through old-growth forest, June rhododendrons and view waterfalls on Elk Lake Creek. The trail follows the scenic Elk Lake Creek valley for its entire length. The trail passes through areas of very large Douglas and True Fir old growth. Elk Lake Creek is an excellent stream for fishing. Please use caution when crossing Elk Lake Creek during high water months.


The trail begins at Forest Road 6380 and ends at Forest Road 4697 adjacent to Elk Lake and Elk Lake Campground on the Willamette National Forest. From the trailhead the trail quickly enters the Bull of the Woods Wilderness and begins to climb gradually on the north side of Elk Lake Creek. The trail reaches Pine Cone Creek after 0.8 mile (2,520’). The trail crosses the creek and continues climbing southwest 1.1 miles to Knob Rock Creek. The trail crosses the creek and heads south 0.2 mile to the junction with Welcome Lakes Trail #554 (2,640’). From the junction, the trail heads downhill gradually and after 0.2 mile the trail crosses Elk Lake Creek. The trail follows beautiful rolling terrain for the next 1.2 miles to another crossing of Elk Lake Creek (2,680’). The trail crosses the creek and travels another 1.2 miles to Battle Creek. There are a couple good campsites available in this area. 0.2 mile from Battle Creek, the trail reaches the junction with Mother Lode Trail #558 (2,800’). Head south from the junction on #559 and climb approximately 1.3 miles to where the trail levels (3,520’). The trail continues to climb gradually for the last 2.6 miles to Elk Lake (3,720’).

Trail Description and Map (PDF File)

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closed due to the Bull Complex. Check Riverside Fire damage for closures.
Restrictions: Wilderness restrictions apply
Closest Towns: Estacada, OR
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Clackamas River Ranger District 16400 Champion Way Sandy, Or 97005 (971) 333.4100

General Information


From Portland, OR - to the North end of the trail, travel east on US Hwy 26 to Sandy. Turn right (southwest) on OR Hwy 211 and travel 6.1 miles to OR Hwy 224. Turn left (southeast) on OR Hwy 224 and travel south for 30.6 miles to Clackamas River Hwy (Forest Road 46) (approximately at milepost 50). Take the right fork onto Clackamas River Hwy and travel 3.7 miles to Collowash Road (Forest Road 63). Follow Forest Road 63 for 12.5 miles to Forest Road 6380. Take the left fork onto Forest Road 6380, travel 2.3 miles and cross the Collawash River. Turn left after crossing Collawash River and continue on 6380 0.4 mile to the trailhead.

From Detroit to the South end of the trail, follow Forest Road 46 (Breitenbush Rd.) 4.4 miles to Forest Road 4696. Turn left  and travel 0.6 mile to Forest Road 4697. Follow 4697 for 6 miles to the trailhead parking area on the right (east) side of the road.



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  Area/Length : 
8.7 miles

  Elevation : 
2440' - 3800'


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