Little Elk Creek

Swan Valley, Idaho

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2 Reviews
5 out of 5
There are some beautiful views in the highest part of the Snake River Range up this creek. No livestock or motor vehicles are allowed. Little Elk Creek is not a trail for the weak or inexperienced. It’s a long, steep 4 miles. From the trail’s beginning at 5,960 feet to your destination, a nameless mountain at 9,200 feet, it’s a 3,240-foot climb. The first third of the hike is forested, and the beginning is deceptively gentle, but as soon as you pass by Conglomerate Canyon 1 mile from the trailhead, the route becomes more difficult.

Little Elk Creek Professional Review and Guide

"There are some beautiful views in the highest part of the Snake River Range up this creek. No livestock or motor vehicles are allowed. Little Elk Creek is not a trail for the weak or inexperienced. It’s a long, steep 4 miles. From the trail’s beginning at 5,960 feet to your destination, a nameless mountain at 9,200 feet, it’s a 3,240-foot climb.

The first third of the hike is forested, and the beginning is deceptively gentle, but as soon as you pass by Conglomerate Canyon 1 mile from the trailhead, the route becomes more difficult."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Swan Valley
Distance: 8
Elevation Gain: 3,240 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: Long day hike or overnight
Season: Best mid-July to mid-September
Trailhead Elevation: 5,960 feet
Top Elevation: 9,200 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Palisades Ranger District, (208) 523-1412
Local Maps: Mount Baird and Palisades Dam USGS quadrangles
Driving Directions: Directions to Little Elk Creek

Recent Trail Reviews

8/5/2011
1

This hike is a great workout and beautiful. I saw mountain goats both times I hiked it. It is definitely worth a side trip to climb Mount Baird as described in the trail guide. I backpacked the loop that continues with Waterfall Canyon, Upper and Lower Palisades Lakes, and Palisades Creek. It was a killer four miles to get to the top of Little Elk Creek Pass with a backpack, but then I had 16 miles of downhill.


8/13/2008
1

Beautiful trail. Quick to the top. Can throw snowballs in august! Perhaps do some skiing in july. No dirt bike. only moose, bears, and horseback enthusiasts. Good times. Good view of the reservior. Trails continues to a giant spring waterfall then to 2 high alpine lakes and out palisade canyon. that would take 2-3 days.



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May 2018