Elkhorn Mountain

Seeking solitude? Ride this old cattle road over Elkhorn Mountain.

Total Miles
10.2
Plan with onX Offroad

Elevation
2908.5

Duration
3 to 5

Technical Rating
7/10

Best Time
Summer/Fall

Trail Overview

If you're looking for solitude, enjoy this old cattle trail all the way up and over Elkhorn Mountain. There is an option to explore the old Elkhorn Mine, as well as places to camp at the start of the trail. The Forest Service may be rerouting this trail, so make sure to follow signs and stay on designated trails. Elkhorn Mountain trail is open mid June through November, depending on the weather.

Difficulty

Difficult. Narrow, steep and rocky in places, with tight, overgrown vegetation on western half. Several spots can be almost impassable with mud and ruts early in summer. Watch for large hidden downed trees scattered underneath the vegetation. Best to carry a chainsaw. No hard-core obstacles, but be prepared for surprises.

History

This part of Colorado has long been used for cattle ranching and sheep herding. We saw both while driving in the area. Many refer to this route as the 'Elkhorn Stock Driveway,' but we could not verify the exact route. We suspect it's tied into trails coming south from Wyoming. An old water trough along the route would suggest that cattle drives once came this way.

Access Description

Drive north from Steamboat Springs on paved County Road 129 about 30 miles. Bear right when pavement ends after Columbine on F.S. 550, a wide gravel/dirt road. Stay on this road another 12 miles following signs to Whiskey Park. Watch for F.S. 508 on the left.

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