Scenic, stunningly beautiful and very steep, Elkhorn Crest Trail is one of the highest in Oregon’s Bluehorn Valley. The route is also pretty low use, making this a furrific option for pups and people who just want to escape civilization and get lost in the wilderness. And wilderness it is -- the rocky mountain path runs through striking Alpine and forest scenery, and it’s easy to imagine the area completely untouched by mankind. If you don’t fancy going the whole twelve or so miles out and back, don’t worry; the trail has several entrances and exits, the most popular being Elkhorn Trailhead to the north and Marble Pass Trailhead near Anthony Lake, with camping at Anthony Lake and Twin Lakes.
In a state full of gorgeous lakes and spectacular mountain views, Elkhorn crest showcases some of the most splendid natural surroundings that Oregon has to offer. You and your pup will be treated to panoramic views of the Baker Valley, Blue Mountains, and the distant Wallowa Range. Not only that, but the trek passes no fewer than five lakes, many of which are pawesome spots for a picnic. If you can, visit in summer when the wildflowers are out -- the sight of the bursting blooms along the route is one of the most colorful things you can see while staying on the right side of the law!
You’ll have to work for those vistas, though -- Elkhorn Crest is a notoriously difficult hike through high peaks and treacherous mountain passes. If you’re out of breath just thinking about it, the trail becomes a little more moderate if you decide not to climb Rock Creek Butte and Elkhorn Peak. Still, this definitely isn’t a walk in the park, and less experienced pooches and owners might want to try another trail. Of course, the path is totally impassable in winter. The whole route out-and-back will take about twelve hours, so be sure to bring provisions with you, as well as waste bags and water for your pooch!