Elkhorn Crest National Recreation Trail #1611


HIgh mountain Twin Lakes in distance along rugged trail

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.

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.

Difficulty level:
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.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Current Conditions
Reservations: This site is not reservable.
Open Season: July
Usage: Light
Restrictions: General rules of use and restrictions apply for this developed recreation site. Wilderness Regulations apply within North Fork John Day Wildernes. Motorized vehicles, bicycles, carts, hang glider and other mechanical equipment are prohibited in the Wilderness area. Bicycle, wheeled carts and other mechanized travel is permitted on the Elkhorn Crest Trail from;
  • The Anthony Lakes and Elkhorn Crest Trailheads up to the wilderness boundary by Angell Peak (2 miles). This section is closed to all motorized vehicles. 
  • The Marble Pass Trailhead up to the wilderness boundary by Cracker Saddle (14 miles). ATVs and other OHVs wider than 24 inches are prohibited.
Closest Towns: Baker City, Oregon (35 Miles), La Grande, Oregon (45 miles)
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Whitman Ranger District

General Information


Access to the trail can be reached from the Elkhorn Crest Trailhead (no fee) on the north near Anthony Lakes, and at Marble Pass Trailhead (no fee) on the southern end of the trail.

Advisory: Forest Road 6510 up to Marble Pass Trailhead is very rough, steep and narrow. High clearance four wheel drive vehicles are strongly recommended.



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Horse Riding & Camping

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OHV Riding & Camping

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