Elk Run

Rating: 
One-way Distance: 0.7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 7852 - 7964 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Cerro Summit
Fee: none
Attractions: Fun singletrack




The Elk Run trail is located in the Cerro Summit Recreation Area near Montrose, Colorado. The west end of the trail begins off of the Meadow Loop, near the lower parking lot, where it travels around the side of the hill coming to an end at its junction with the Narrow Gauge trail. Enroute it is connected to by the Tuff Canyon, Porcupine and Escalator  trails which all provide routes up the hillside to the upper parking area and trailhead.


To get there follow Highway 50 east toward Gunnison from Montrose for about 10 miles to the top of Cerro Summit Pass where the recreation area will be on the right hand side of the road.


For this post we started out at the lower trailhead by following the Meadow Loop.


After following the Meadow Loop for about 250 feet it comes to the point where the Elk Run trail branches off on the right.


The Elk Run trail cuts through a small patch of oakbrush and then begins a gradual climb along the side of the hill.


As the climbing begins leveling off the Elk Run trail passes the first of 2 spots where the Tuff Canyon trail connects to it about 350 feet from where the Elk Run trail left the Meadow Loop. Within another 100 feet or so the second place where the Tuft Canyon trail connects comes up.


From there the Elk Run trail starts climbing once again along the side of the hill.


Near the 0.3 mile point from the Meadow Loop the Porcupine trail branches off on the right where it climbs a series of switchbacks that take take it up the mountain to the upper trailhead.


The trail becomes more secluded as it plots a course through the thick brush with its various hues of green that paint the hillside throughout the summer months.


Near the 0.4 mile point the aptly named Escalator trail branches off on the right and begins its climb up the mountain.


The trail continues cutting a route through the brush until it comes close to the parks boundary line where it turns sharply back in the other direction.


At that point the Elk Run trail descends the mountain and as it comes to an end it splits and meets up with the Narrow Gauge trail. From here you can go either way and end up back at the Meadow Loop. The map comes in handy for deciding which way would best suit your needs. As for us, we turned around and headed back up to the Escalator trail and followed it to get to the top of the mountain. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.