Elk Park Road

3.2/5 (22 reviews)
Black Hawk, Colorado (Gilpin County)
Last Updated: 12/27/2020

Trail Information


Making an important connection from Apex Valley to Mammoth Gulch, northwest of Central City, Elk Park Road links the trails around Oregon Hill and Dakota Hill to Mammoth Gulch and Kingston Peak. Along the way,​ you will find evidence of the area’s rich mining history as you pass the ghost towns of Apex and Nugget. You also pass the old road to American City, although you can no longer take it, and you will see the old stone house standing sentinel in Elk Park. Besides the history, there is plenty of scenery to be enjoyed as you pass through the open valley of Elk Park and are treated to views of the James Peak Wilderness Area to the west and south and the Indian Peaks to the north. Because of its location, you cannot run Elk Park Road as a stand-alone trail. You can combine it with Apex Valley Road and Mammoth Gulch for an easy, scenic drive or use it to connect the Dakota Hill network with Kingston Peak and the Yankee Hill area for an extended adventure.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

3.2/5 (22)
Visited: 01/28/2023

Only plowed up to a house right at the start (Waypoint 2) – impassable afterwards. (We were chased by a barking stray dog all the way from Apex Valley Road, so we decided not to get out and take photos of where the impassable part starts)
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/08/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Road is open with a bit of snow/ice. Not bad at all and easily driveable but the ice gets slippery once the sun goes down so be careful.
Rated 3/5
Visited: 10/21/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

A good connector trail between Mammoth and Apex, rockier than I expected but is still nothing difficult, recommend airing down.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 10/08/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Beautiful drive and easy to navigate
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/21/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The real redeeming value of this trail is the views at the western end near the Mammoth Gulch intersection. As others have mentioned, the eastern portion is quite rocky (generally cantaloupe-sized & smaller) so if you're coming in from Apex Valley Road, you'll want to get aired down ahead of time since there's not really a good place for it once here. If you're coming over from Mammoth Gulch, you should air down before heading up that (also very rocky) trail. Anything with stock SUV clearance or better and some sort of 4 wheel traction will be fine, although the continuous slippage could warm up the clutches in an AWD transfer case. Strictly-speaking, low range 4WD is not at all necessary but it will make climbing or descending a smoother experience.

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