Elk Falls Hike

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
23.3 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
731 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Elk Falls Hike is a stunning hike through the Staunton State Park wilderness. See tons of wildlife, walk through dense aspen woodlands, around a lake and to a grand cascading waterfall. This trail is a wonderful day hike, and we really couldn’t recommend it enough.

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Route Description for Elk Falls Hike

This picturesque hike through nature is like no other. The Elk Falls Hike is scenic every step of the way. The impressive scenery will motivate you and distract you from your tired feet. Hike up the steep path and summit the granite overlook of Elk Falls. This trail is lengthy, so it may not be suitable for children. Ensure to pack plenty of water or a water filter to keep hydrated during this excursion. Note that the Staunton State Park charges an entrance fee which typically costs around $10USD.

Begin your journey to Elk Falls from the parking lot. Take the Staunton Ranch Trail north. Hike the meadowed trail as it gradually ascends into the dense aspen forest. Slightly climbing in elevation, trek along the forested path until you meet a junction. Here, veer left onto Scout Line Trail. This path is steep and intense. Hike up several forested switchbacks and the trail will eventually come to a plateau. At this point, you will encounter another intersection, stay left as you merge onto Marmot Passage Trail. This path will descend into a forested valley before climbing a ridge up to Elk Falls Pond. As the name suggests, there are often Marmots in this area, so keep an eye out.

At the lake’s junction, stay left and you will be diverted onto Chimney Rock Trail. Climb up another set of switchbacks and enjoy sights of the falls between the trees and granite boulders that line the path. At the next intersection, stay left on Lion’s Back Trail. This trail will deliver you to the waterfalls. Enjoy the hypnotizing Elk Waterfall and its meditative sounds. Admore the cascading falls and snap a few pictures before retracting your steps down the route to the parking lot.

Getting to the Elk Falls Hike Trailhead

The Elk Falls Trail is located within the Staunton State Park off of S Elk Creek Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Elk Falls Hike Elevation Graph

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Elk Falls Hike Reviews

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