The better question perhaps, is how far can you pack one out? I've been elk hunting for near 20 years and I have been a part of a ton of kills. I have never gotten one out whole. First, you should evaluate your equipment and make sure you have available help if necessary. Second, you should be competant at boning out an elk in the field and be able to keep the meat cool. Finally, you should be honest about what you can do physically and make sure you can get it out. I am sure you can do all those things, but I have unfortunately seen folks who thought they could get it out, or didn't care.
Once you are comfortable and confident that you can extract an animal from X distance, then it is really a matter of what you are willing to do. To me, elk are a tough animal to take, and big bulls very difficult. I don't want to be 80 years old wishing I had gone the extra mile. Once that trophy is on the wall and the steaks on the barbie, it is always worth the effort. Granted, I have mules and horses, but believe me, we do our fair share of back packing horns and meat just to get it to the mules. No matter where clients shoot a bull, we will get it out. Sometimes it's in a nasty hole, but when we come riding into the trailhead with a set of antlers on the mules, it is definately worth it:)