The Elk Trail contours around a no-named Wagonhammer butte at roughly 5000' and is most commonly ridden counter-clockwise. While the climbs on this trail are not all that challenging, the side-hilling is. The entire length of this trail gives technical challenges not often seen on trails anywhere. The Elk Trail is a narrow trail primarily used by game and cows that crosses steep terrain.
Look for the start of this trail just below the fence on the east side of the saddle between Wagonhammer and 4th of July drainages. Elk Trail contours across open terrain on the east of the butte to another saddle and fence.
Across this northern fence gate, the trail can be overgrown and tough to spot. Bear LEFT after the gate and look for the trail to get better ahead in the sage. From the gate, the trail crosses more open ridges, but they are now covered in sage and there are wooded sections in the gullies.
Once at the Lewis and Clark
carsonite trail marker you have three options: 1) Take a break and absorb the huge views. 2) Continue contouring on trail back to the old road bed you climbed up on. 3) Turn down the ridge on what locals called Lewis and Clark (Meadow Surfer)
to continue on the Elk Loop