Red Elephant Hill

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4.7/5 (62 reviews)
Downieville-Lawson-Dumont, Colorado (Clear Creek County)
Last Updated: 12/13/2023
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Trail Information


About an hour from Denver in the Arapaho National Forest, Red Elephant Hill is the most challenging trail in the Empire Loop. The Empire Loop is a network of trails just above Empire, Colorado, that includes Bill Moore Lake and Mill Creek. Red Elephant Hill is the most difficult of the 3, but that should not deter the beginner driver from giving it a go to help improve their skills. Challenges, views, and fresh air await adventurous offroaders.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

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Check out our Bill Moore Lake (2 mi away) trail guide for an All-Access Preview!

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (62)
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Visited: 12/01/2023

Snow has made the trail impassable and dangerous to attempt.
Rated 2/5
Visited: 10/23/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Super dusty trail especially if your exhaust points anywhere close to downwards. Somewhat techy but super steep in a lot of places, off camber in some and in general needlessly narrow between the trees, and for the most part nothing to write home on for the views compared to other trails in the region. Most rigs can get up it with a locker with ease and good spotting but be ready to get hung up on diffs with smaller tires. If you’re looking for a techy connector trail I’d say go for it, if you’re just trying to see views I’d say pass it.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/16/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This was a great trail. Very challenging in a Ford Bronco non-Sasquatch with 2” spacer lift and upgraded to 35” tires.
Trail Review: Red Elephant Hill - Steve Van Horn
Trail Review: Red Elephant Hill - Steve Van Horn
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Visited: 09/23/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

First time on this trail. Stock Rubicon with 35's and it rubbed underside many times. Not just rocky but on a incline as well. Will do it again after I get 37's.
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Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/09/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Great trail. The reviews had me nervous but 37’s made the difficulty feel pretty trivial. Didn’t need lockers. Ran it while dry in a JLUR on 37’s with 2” spacer lift.

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