Two Elk Trail #2005


The Two Elk trail starts and/or ends at Forest Road 762 near Minturn and the Vail Pass / Tenmile Canyon National Recreation Trail in East Vail: This trail is popular as a one-way "shuttle hike" where people will leave a car at one end and drive a second car to their trailhead. From the east end, it travels through the cool shady Timber Creek Canyon, climbs a steep section to the Two Elk Pass summit with views of the Gore Range, Sawatch Range, and Vail's Back Bowls, and descends slowly through meadows and the valley between Vail’s Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin Bowls finally emerging from the last section of cool aspen-pine forest to the west trailhead.

* There are printable Recreation Quicksheets for this trail which are complete with directions, a map, details, and other information about this trail. Click here for hiking quicksheet or mountain biking quicksheet. Or to see quicksheets for other recreation areas across the Forest, click on the "Recreation Quicksheets" link in the right column and select the appropriate Ranger District.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: * Closed annually from May 6 - July 1 for elk calving and migration.
Usage: Light
Restrictions: The portion of Two Elk Trail that travels through Vail's Back Bowls is closed annually from May 6 - July 1. Please observe these closures out of respect for resource protection and wildlife calving, feeding, and migration needs.
Closest Towns: Minturn

General Information

Directions: EAST TRAILHEAD: Travel east on I-70 to exit 180 for East Vail. Turn right and travel 2.3 miles east on the south frontage road, passing under the interstate and past the Gore Creek Campground. Park just beyond at the road closure gate and walk 1.8 miles up the old Vail Pass road, today’s recreation path, to the Two Elk trailhead on the right. WEST TRAILHEAD: Travel west on I-70 to exit 171 for Minturn, Leadville, and Hwy 24. Turn right and travel south 2.7 miles and into Minturn to Cemetery Bridge. Turn left, cross the bridge and tracks, then proceed south past the cemetery. Go right at the first fork and left at the second fork. Follow this somewhat rough dirt road about 1.8 miles and park at the trailhead at the end.

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  Area/Length : 
11 miles

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