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Two Elk Trail

Consensus:    (details)
 4.3 from 4 votes
  Intermediate from 1 vote
Your Opinion:
Rating: -none- change
Rank: #2 in Vail
#88 in Colorado
#859 Overall
Trail near ,  
“A huge adventure across the mountains making up the back side of Vail.”
Nick Wilder on Oct 10, 2012
Getting There     GPX File     Print
10.0 Miles Singletrack Type 1,825’ Ascent -2,927’ Descent 8,031’ Low 10,921’ High
Closed for elk calving from May 6 to July 1.
The trail is very steep and much harder on the east end (from I-70 up to Two Elk Pass). The western portion is considerably easier.

Many loops and epic rides are possible, though most require a shuttle.

From the east trailhead, follow the Old Vail Pass road, now the Vail Pass Recreation Path, 1.8 miles to the junction with the true Two Elk Trailhead on the right. The trail drops from the recreation path to a bridge crossing the Black Gore Creek, then passes under I-70 into the tight Timber Creek canyon which is a cool shady forest alongside the creek. At mile 2.6 the trail makes a sharp right across a third bridge before starting the steepest climb.

From Two Elk Pass, a bunch of trails diverge. Don't worry too much as long as you're on one that is going downhill to the west, under the Mongolia bowls of Vail ski area. Other trails make some other good rides... but that's for another day.

There is evidence of an older version of the Two Elk trail that goes is deeply rutted and goes straight down the drainage. The new trail is now very smooth, easy, well built, and winds around the open meadow.

Continue down, passing the bottom of ski lifts. You'll cross a few roads, but never stay on one for more than 100' or so, and you'll find the singletrack again. You might have to look around in a few places, but it's all there.

Once you leave the ski area behind you, the forest gets thicker and the trail rockier. It follows Two Elk Creek for several more miles of moderate to difficult (due to rocks) until eventually popping out at the valley floor.

You'll be at the end of Cemetary Rd (and a shooting range, which is a little disconcerting after so many miles of backcountry riding).
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38° | 30°

41° | 17°

47° | 29°

44° | 31°

30° | 21°
Recent Conditions
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5.0 (3)
A life-changing 485 mile ride on the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango.
near Columbine Valley, CO
4.7 (3)
A popular trail for good reasons. Rolling forested trail with diverse single...
near Frisco, CO
4.5 (2)
A big loop with great scenery and varied riding.
near Avon, CO

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PHOTOS of Two Elk Trail
 5.0 from 1 vote
Welcome to Colorado singletrack! (Minturn, CO)
 4.3 from 3 votes
Several miles of this... and it doesn't get old. (Minturn, CO)
 4.0 from 3 votes
The upper part of the Two Elk trail is gorgeous and really easy. It get... (Vail, CO)
 4.0 from 3 votes
Thomas zig'n and zag'n through vail resorts outer Mongolian Bowl (Vail, CO)
 3.3 from 3 votes
When you reach the bridge, you're almost done. (Minturn, CO)
 3.0 from 4 votes
K enjoying the lower aspen groves (Minturn, CO)
 3.0 from 3 votes
This downed tree (as of July 2013) makes it VERY easy to miss this turn ... (Vail, CO)
 3.0 from 1 vote
It's an aspen fire! (Minturn, CO)
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