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Trail difficulty
GREEN
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
11.20 mi (18.02 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

The Stanley Lake Trailhead is the jumping-off point for this great mountain bike ride that circumnavigates Elk Mountain.  Lady Face Falls is the first of several hikes up the Stanley Lake Canyon (which is also open to mountain bikes and can be combined with this adventure). The Elk Mountain Ride also uses portions of the Elk Meadow Trail out Elk Creek, the next major drainage to the north.

Elk Mountain Loop

A moderate but non-technical dirt road climb that accesses several miles of flowing singletrack and outstanding wildflower meadows make this one of the best mountain bike rides in the Sawtooths. Bikers looking for an extra workout can easily add an additional 500 feet of climbing up the old mining roads to the Sawtooth Overlook for a great view across Stanley Lake into the north couloirs of McGown Peak. In June the yellow blooms of arrowleaf balsamroot often decorate the south slopes of the initial climb. The loop is best ridden counter-clockwise. Note that portions of the trail along Elk Meadow can be very wet through June, so please avoid the trail in late spring and early summer.

Hiking distances and ascents are as follows:

• Elk Mountain Loop: 11.2 miles, 746 feet.
• Elk Mountain mining road extension adds: 2.8 miles, 500 feet.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Smooth flowy singletrack. Wildflower meadow. Moderate length. Loop

Cons

Includes dirt roads. Rocky section at the start. Can be muddy. Motorized use.

Pets allowed

Yes

Trailhead Elevation

6,537.00 ft (1,992.48 m)

Net Elevation Gain

746.00 ft (227.38 m)

Address

Joes Gulch Jeep Rd
Stanley, ID 83278
United States

Features

Mine
Wildflowers

Suitable for

Hiking
Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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