Lace up your hiking boots and get ready for a pawsome adventure with your pooch! Two Elk Trail travels through 11 miles of the gorgeous White River National Forest in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Get ready for puptacular views of the Gore and Sawatch Ranges, as well as sweeping vistas of Vail Ski Resort’s basins.
Two Elk Trail is a point to point trail with an east and west trailhead. Since the eastern portion of the trail is higher in elevation, most folks hike east to west. Whichever route you choose, you’ll need to arrange for a pick up/ drop off or leave a shuttle vehicle at the opposite trailhead. Unlike most hikes, there is a short trek to the east trailhead. Once you park your car at the road closure gate that’s just past Gore Creek Campground, follow the Vail Pass Recreation Trail for 1.8 miles to the Two Elk Trailhead. If your doggo prefers a challenge and wants to hike west to east, you’ll find the western trailhead begins directly from the parking area.
If your pup isn’t up for an 11 mile hike, there’s still a way for them to enjoy this pawsome trail. Begin your hike from the east trailhead and continue to mile 2.6. This is where the trail starts making its way up the mountain to the Two Elk Pass summit. It’s a perfect spot to take a break before turning around and heading back through the forested Timber Creek Canyon. This section of the trail is beautiful, and your pooch will still get plenty of exercise.
Although this trail passes through the remote backcountry, it is quite pupular, so you may see fellow hikers, mountain bikers, or even equestrians. Since it is primitive, you won’t find restrooms along the way. Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit, as well as plenty of water and snacks. Be sure to bring a biscuit or two for you pup- they’ll love a little pick-me-up while hiking this furrific trail!
This trail closes each year from May 6 to July 1 for elk calving. Keep this in mind when planning your puptastic adventure!