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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests > Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District

Quick Facts

North Fork, Elk River Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,727 Feet (2720.4 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,093 Feet (340.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,820 Feet (3061.1 Meters)
Length, One-way: 4 Miles (6.67 Kilometers) to The Parks Ranger District boundary
Other Maps: Routt National Forest Map
TI Topo Maps: #116 Hahns Peak, Steamboat Lake; No Mt Zirkel Wilderness
Trail Number: 1152
Usage: Light to Moderate
USGS Maps: Mt Zirkel; Farwell Mtn

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

A 4 wheel drive vehicle is necessary to reach the Diamond Park end of the trail. Some of Diamond Park is privately owned. The owner has not restricted the public's travel on his land. To insure the continuance of this policy, please respect his property.

NARRATIVE: The first half of this trail follows the North Fork of the Elk River as it winds through willows and alders. Two unimproved trails leave the main trail: One continues up the North Fork and offers some spectacular views of the Sawtooth Range, Mt. Zirkel, two water falls, and Big Agnes Mountain as it proceeds to the headwaters of the river; the second leads to Lake Diana. The trail also continues to the north on the east slope of the Continental Divide. The trail continues north along the Encampment River into the North Park District of the Routt National Forest.


As humans, we must minimize our impacts to help preserve this resource for present and future generations.

Directions from Steamboat Springs: Take HWY 40 west of town and turn right onto County Road 129, Elk River Road. Travel north about 18 miles to the Seedhouse Road (Forest Road 400;also County Road 64) and turn right. Go east 11 miles to the North Fork of the Elk River Road #431. Take this 4-wheel drive road north to Diamond Park. This is a very rough road, usually passable only in dry weather.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall (NOTE: Accessibility depends on snow depth and weather.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking North Fork Elk River and connecting trails.
ICON Fishing area streams and lakes
ICON Hiking & Walking North Fork Elk River and connecting trails.
ICON Horseback Riding North Fork Elk River and connecting trails.
ICON Viewing Scenery The area near the headwaters of the North Fork offers spectacular views.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District, 925 Weiss Drive , Steamboat Springs, CO, 80487, Phone: 970-879-1870, Fax: 970-879-2147


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