Elephant Rock (VOF) - Trip Notes for 04/13/2016

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This page last updated on 06/15/2017

04/13/2016 Trip Notes: Elephant Rock (Fig. 01) is a fine example of an arch in the shape of an elephant.  Because the rock is right next to the road, it is best to park in the nearby parking lot and take the 1/3 of a mile trail to reach the formation. One of the shortest hikes in the park, the hike to Elephant Rock is located just 50 feet off of Valley of Fire Highway and takes less than 10 minutes to reach. The trail starts at the parking area just east of a parking area and a small covered pavilion. The trail starts at the back of the pavilion across slick-rock. Follow the cairns and in less than ten minutes, you’ll find yourself in front of Elephant Rock. The view in (Fig. 01) was taken standing directly in front of the elephant near the side of the road. Elephant Rock is billed as *the* highlight of the Valley of Fire State Park. The overall shape is clearly visible, and is striking in it's resemblance to an elephant, complete with trunk. The best views and photos of the arch are achieved by climbing above and behind Elephant Rock. Wanting to get behind the elephant for some better pictures, we continued along the trail that ran past the arch. After walking considerable distance on this trail (Fig. 02), we eventually realized that it would not take us behind the elephant. I later learned that this was the 1.5 mile Arrowhead Loop Trail that is a portion of the remains of the old Arrowhead Road that was constructed in 1915 that connected Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. After turning around, we went back to elephant rock and began scrambling up the easy sandstone, walking through the arch to get behind and above the formation. The pictures from the cliff behind the formation provided some stellar backdrops (Fig. 03). We took turns taking pictures standing in the trunks' opening (Fig. 04). Upon completion of this picture taking session it was nearly time for lunch; so we headed out to the White Domes, our final scheduled hike for the day.  

(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
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Clicking the picture-link below will open OneDrive in a new window and a folder containing 12 pictures taken on a hike of Elephant Rock. To view the show, click on the first picture in the folder and you will get the following menu bar:

Click the "Play slide show" will play a fullscreen window of the slide show.