Elephant Hill

Total Miles
21.3

Elevation

1,623.15 ft

Duration

14 Hours

Technical Rating

6

Moderate

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall

Trail Overview

Elephant Hill is one of the premier rock crawling experiences in America's National Parks. This route features significant intermediate rock crawling, as drivers wind their way on a road through the twisted canyons of the Needles district in Canyonlands. Those who make the journey have the opportunity to get up close and personal with exceedingly unique rock formations throughout the drive as well as views overlooking multiple rivers within Canyonlands. This includes named obstacles such as Devil's Pocket, SOB Hill, and the Silver Staircase. Expect to find steep drives up and down slick rock, small boulder gardens, and ledges that require care in navigating. This trail must be driven in a clockwise direction, as much of the trail is too narrow for any form of passing. This makes recovery tricky if you break down, so make sure your rig is capable enough, and in good condition. This trail also requires a relatively high-demand permit. While day-use permits are available, completing the whole trail between sun up and sun down is challenging for all but the most experienced rock crawlers. Back-country camping permits tied to specific sites are available, but fill up very quickly, so make sure to plan in advance. Note that like most NPS trails, Elephant Hill only allows street-legal vehicles. Those who can navigate these hurdles, are rewarded with one of the best offroad adventures the 4 corners have to offer, featuring stunning vistas paired with consistent levels of offroad challenge.

Photos of Elephant Hill

Elephant Hill
Elephant Hill
Elephant Hill

Difficulty

Elephant Hill is a great intro to serious rock crawling. There are no "high consequence" obstacles where a screw-up is likely to cause injury or significant vehicle damage. Additionally, in dry conditions, it does not require a locker or winch. However, I would not attempt this with a vehicle that has less than 32" tires and a low range. Stock Wranglers should be capable of completing the trail by experienced drivers, but those newer to rock crawling may want a little margin. Skid plates are advised for lower-clearance vehicles.

Technical Rating

6

Status Reports

There are no status reports yet for this trail.

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