Trail In-Depth: Elk Run, Elk Run Spur, and Rockcress Link

You can access these trails from the parking lot at the Solitude Tennis Courts (Montane Recreation Area), the old Tot Lot (Maintenance Lot) on Montane Drive West, or connecting trails to the east (Courtside), west (Miner’s Mile) or north (Hillrise East).

Trailhead Location:

Parking is available at the Solitude Tennis Courts (Montane Recreation Area) or at the old Tot Lot on Montane Drive West between Rockcress Way and Pine Drop Lane. Pet waste receptacles are located on Bitterroot Lane and at the Tot Lot.

Trail Lengths:

Elk Run (0.4 miles), Elk Run Spur (0.28 miles) and Rockcress Link (0.12 miles) Components of: • The 4-mile Montane Loop (Elk Run, Elk Run Spur, Hillrise East, Deer Run, Upper Montane, Lower Montane, Stonecrop Link, Canyon Creek and Courtside). Rockcress Link connects Elk Run to Rockcress Way and is not part of the Montane Loop.

  • The 2-mile Foothills Loop (Miner’s Mile, Elk Run, Elk Run Spur, Hillrise East, Hillrise West, Streamside Spur and Streamside). Rockcress Link is not part of the loop.
  • All Genesee trail loops can be hiked either clockwise or
    counterclockwise.

Trail Steward:

Mark Stromberg

Elk Run Trail connects Bitterroot Lane and Pine Drop Lane. Rockcress Link leads directly to Rockcress Way and Elk Run Spur leads up to Montane Drive and the Tot Lot, for hikers wanting other access options. All three trails are in the southern part of Genesee.

Elk Run Trail follows the hill contour above Bear Creek, so the slope is gradual. A few sections have loose rock, but most of the trail offers stable footing. The trail goes through east-, south- and west-facing slopes. Portions go through ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, while other sections go through open meadows with yucca, cactus and wildflowers. As you continue west along Elk Run, you will
come across an overlook with a memorial bench a short distance beyond Rockcress Link. The west end of Elk Run leads smoothly up to Pine Drop Lane, since the rerouting of the trail last year to fix erosion issues. Elk Run Spur is on a south-facing slope and is largely shad ed by ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. There is one small stream crossing where you will find willow trees. Horsemint
(wild bergamot) blooms in many areas along Elk Run Spur. Genesee Trail Stewards recently rerouted and added new drainage features on Elk Run Spur to control erosion. Rockcress Link is a new trail constructed by Genesee Open
Space seasonal employees under the direction of Brian Maillett. The new trail bypasses all private property but still provides a convenient link to the trail system for nearby residents on Rockcress Way and Bitterroot Lane.

Hiking Suggestion:

Try parking at Solitude, then hike Elk Run Trail with an out-and-back side trip up Rockcress Link and/or Elk Run Spur. You can hike all these trails in less than an hour.

Safety Reminder:

Watch for loose rocks and wild animals. Remember to leash and clean up after your dogs.
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