Elephant Rock

Round Trip Distance: 0.2 - 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 1719 - 1837 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: East entrance
Fee: $10/vehicle
Attractions: natural arch

Elephant Rock is located near the east entrance to the Valley of Fire State Park near Overton, Nevada and just a short distance from Lake Mead. The scenic rock formation is only a few hundred yards from the parking area and can be accessed either directly or via a short loop. This post combines the Elephant Rock trail with a portion of the Old Arrowhead trail for a longer loop that has a round trip distance of around 1 mile.

From Interstate 15 both Exit 75 and Exit 93 will get you to the Valley of Fire State Park. It is 14 miles via Exit 75, about 40 miles northeast of Las Vegas, and 22 miles via Exit 93, about 27 miles southwest of Mesquite. Your choice may depend upon which direction you are traveling on the interstate. Both exits are marked with signs for the Valley of Fire State Park.

Right next to the east entrance is a parking area with a self pay station, restrooms and a covered ramada that also serves as the Elephant Rock trailhead.

The short loop trail to Elephant Rock begins right behind the self pay station. This post starts out following the more direct trail that begins on the west side of the parking area near the entrance road.

The trail follows a primitive route along slickrock ledges as it gently climbs away from the trailhead.

Within a few hundred yards the scenic rock formation comes into view. It doesn't take much imagination at all to see the resemblance of an elephant. And a big reddish-orange one at that.

Visitors looking for a little more exercise can continue following the trail past Elephant Rock as it travels along a shelf just above the highway. Those with less time to spare can either return to the trailhead the way they came or continue around the shorter loop to get back to the trailhead. The distance is about the same either way.

The longer loop parallels the highway until it is just under a half mile from the trailhead before it begins turning away from the road and starts looping around toward the Arrowhead trail.

Along the way there is a bridge that makes it easy to cross one of the deeper washes that comes up.

Once the route reaches the Arrowhead trail it begins a short climb to get back over the ridge.

On the east side of the ridge the Arrowhead trail meets up with the short loop trail that heads to Elephant Rock.

From there it is only a few hundred more feet to the parking area at the east entrance. The longer loop around Elephant Rock is a nice option to get a little extra exercise and at the same time get away from the crowds that you might find on most of the other trails. There are a handful of smaller arches to see along the way as well as more of the scenery that draws visitors to the Valley of Fire State Park. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.