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Elk Cove Trailhead

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Former footbridge over Pinnacle Creek at the trailhead (Tom Kloster)
What's left of the bridge (Steve Hart)

Contents

Hikes starting here

Fees and Regulations

  • Northwest Forest Pass required.

Driving Directions

Follow Highway 35 from either Government Camp or Hood River. Exit Highway 35 and go a few miles to the tiny town of Parkdale, the terminus of the Mount Hood Railway. Turn south on Clear Creek Road, adjacent to the railroad and town park, and follow this exceptionally scenic drive through pear and apple orchards for 2.8 miles to Laurance Lake Road. Turn right, and immediately pass a picture-postcard view of Mount Hood rising over a sylvan pasture. Stay on this road for 4.2 twisting miles to Laurance Lake Campground. Turn left here on gravel Road 2840, turning right after one mile into a very large parking area. The Elk Cove Trail begins at the east end of the parking area, where a bridge crosses Pinnacle Creek.

Hopefully, the Forest Service will eventually replace the 1.1 mile road trudge that makes up the first part of the Elk Cove Trail. And while we're dreaming up trail projects, an even better improvement would be an extension of the Pinnacle Ridge Trail to begin at the Elk Cove Trailhead, creating a terrific opportunity for a 10-mile loop trip between the two trails that would be among the most scenic on the mountain.

The Elk Cove Trailhead is located near Laurance Lake, and is the starting point for the Elk Cove Trail. There is no water or restroom here, though there are primitive campsites near the trailhead. Laurance Lake Campground has water and restrooms.

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Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.