Is Elk Mtn-Kings Mtn traverse cleared of brush this year?

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Jeff71
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Joined: July 28th, 2019, 6:53 pm

Is Elk Mtn-Kings Mtn traverse cleared of brush this year?

Post by Jeff71 » July 28th, 2019, 8:49 pm

I have heard conflicting reports on the trail condition of the travers from the Elk Mtn trail to Kings Mtn. In years past it was always heavily overgrown and I had given up ever going that traverse ever again. But recently a friend said he went a couple of months ago and it was really well cleared. But then I hear other folks saying it is still overgrown.

Has anyone on here hiked the traverse this year? Cleared enough to see and navigate the trail? Or has it all grown over again?

Thanks for your help. I am planning my routes and it would make a huge difference what directions I go if the Elk-to-Kings trail is cleared or not. My preference if cleared is to start at Elk Creek Camp, go up Elk Mtn, over to Kings Mtn, and then back down via Elk Creek. Definitely want to avoid going DOWN Kings Mtn due to knee issues, and prefer to avoid going down Elk Mtn trail and instead descend the gently route along Elk Creek. Going uphill is not an issue with my knees but steep descents are not good.

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kepPNW
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Location: Salmon Creek

Re: Is Elk Mtn-Kings Mtn traverse cleared of brush this year?

Post by kepPNW » July 29th, 2019, 2:10 pm

Jeff71 wrote:
July 28th, 2019, 8:49 pm
I have heard conflicting reports on the trail condition of the travers from the Elk Mtn trail to Kings Mtn. In years past it was always heavily overgrown and I had given up ever going that traverse ever again. But recently a friend said he went a couple of months ago and it was really well cleared. But then I hear other folks saying it is still overgrown.

Has anyone on here hiked the traverse this year? Cleared enough to see and navigate the trail? Or has it all grown over again?
Did it in January, and it seemed perfectly fine. Don't recall any spot along the traverse where you couldn't see the trail. Might've been a few brushy spots where your pants would get wet from the morning dew, but that's about it.
Karl
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RSmith
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Joined: May 2nd, 2013, 10:19 pm

Re: Is Elk Mtn-Kings Mtn traverse cleared of brush this year?

Post by RSmith » July 29th, 2019, 5:01 pm

I was there Sunday (7/28) and the section on the western side of the traverse is overgrown. You can still follow the trail, but you do have to be more careful as some parts of the trail are not visible and footing can be tricky, but you can tell where the trail goes.

Jeff71
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Joined: July 28th, 2019, 6:53 pm

Re: Is Elk Mtn-Kings Mtn traverse cleared of brush this year?

Post by Jeff71 » July 29th, 2019, 7:51 pm

Thanks for the updates on conditions. I think I will still give it a go, then. I enjoy hiking up ridges and small peaks but don’t enjoy hauling all that water up since there usually are no water sources up there.

Glad the weather is holding, should be good this week!

Jeff71
Posts: 6
Joined: July 28th, 2019, 6:53 pm

Re: Is Elk Mtn-Kings Mtn traverse cleared of brush this year?

Post by Jeff71 » August 6th, 2019, 3:16 pm

Did this hike last week. I did NOT make it to the traverse so can not report on it’s condition.

I got a late start and it took me longer to get up Elk Mtn than I planned. After all the ups and downs along that rocky ridge spine my legs were getting sore for a first hike of the year. I went about half mile from the junction toward Kings Mtn but when it started ascending to criss over the ridge to the traverse I decided I better call it a day and head back Elk Creek.

Overall the trail is wonderfully maintained, by the Mazamas apparently. Great job folks!! It only got a bit overgrown on the rock scramble areas near the summit. I can’t blame anyone for not trimming on that steep section! It has been several years since I did this trail and forgot there was a bare rock scramble of 30-40 ft on the north side of the summit. Wasn’t sure that was the trail down but no other way so down I went. At the bottom the trail reappears.

The Elk Creek trail is amazingly nice to walk now compared to when it was overgrown with small alder brush and nettles. When it was wet out I would get sopping wet from the brush rubbing against socks and pants. There are several trail areas with significant rebuild with rocks and wood. Lots of work went into this!

I plan to go up Elk Creek and over to Kings Mtn later this month. Doing more conditioning hikes with my grandson to get my pace up to a reasonable rate uphill.

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