Final Elk – Kings Mtns. Post

This is the last post about hiking in the Kings Mountain / Elk Mountain area (at least for the time being). This past Saturday I did the Elk Mountain / Kings Mountain traverse loop: starting at the Kings Mountain trailhead, along the Wilson River Trail to the Elk Creek Campground Trailhead, hiking up Elk Mountain on the “front side”, across to Kings, and back down to the Kings trailhead. Beth and Ruairí joined me on the 3.5 mile Wilson River Trailhead segment, which included the challenge of crossing the creek with the washed-out bridge. I did the remaining 6.5 miles myself.

This was my first time up to the Elk Mountain summit on the “front side”. The only word for this trail was “relentless”. It hardly ever stopped going uphill, straight uphill. It’s as if whoever laid it out had the attitude, “switchbacks, we don’t need no stinkin’ switchbacks”. This can be seen on the elevation profile: in the first ¾ mile, it gains 1500 feet:

A few more pics follow. This week, the wildflowers were coming into full bloom on the higher meadows, which made for a colorful foreground for the great views in the distance (click on each for a full-size image).

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