West Elk Stock Driveway is a little used alternative descent from the top of Buford Road. The trailhead is about 0.4 miles down Forest Route 819 from the Main West Elk Trailhead. Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be a sign or actual trail at the trailhead.You'll see a trail off to your left, but this is not what you are looking for (although it may get you to the same place). Instead, head straight across the meadow towards the treeline. Once you get near the trees you'll see the trail starting down in the small draw. From here on the trail is pretty easy to follow.
The upper part of the trail winds through groves of aspen and open meadows. Lower down, it gets drier and oak brush dominates. In the fall, this area is a great place to view aspen colors but is also popular with hunters.
The majority of the trail is a smooth run without many technical aspects. However, at the 2.5 mile mark you'll find a very steep, rocky, and loose downhill that only lasts 0.15 miles. Just before the intersection with Cherry Creek Trail
, you'll come across another short difficult section.
The West Elk Stock Driveway provides several interesting loop opportunities with the Cherry Creek Trail
and Mansfield Ditch Trail (FR 2291)
. Two miles south of Forest Road 819, the Stock Driveway intersects the Cherry Creek Connector #2256.1D
(which travels 1.4 miles east before joining the Cherry Creek Trail
). From here, you can travel an additional 0.5 miles (via the Cherry Creek #2256 to Mansfield #2291 Singletrack Connector
) to reach the Mansfield Ditch Trail (FR 2291)