Elephant Rock stands in a small grouping of lighter rocks against a backdrop of larger red rock hills near the East end of Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada. When I heard there was a rock named “Elephant Rock”, my first reaction was , “Sure, someone had a vivid imagination and you’re going to need to really stare at this rock to see an elephant. It’s like looking at clouds or star constellations and trying to see the images that fit the names someone gave them long ago.” Then I saw Elephant Rock and there was no doubt–it immediately looked like an elephant!
The parking area for Elephant Rock Loop in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada is near the far east end of park, shortly before heading on to the Overton Arm of Lake Mead. There are actually 2 parking areas: The main Elephant Rock Loop parking area is to the East of the Loop. To the West is the parking area for the Natural Arches and Charlie’s Spring Trailheads, so it’s easy to take the Elephant Rock Loop and the two other trails in at once. However the other two trails are much longer, totaling about 14 miles in all. Add the 1.2-mile Elephant Rock Loop and you have a 15 mile adventure.
The Elephant Rock Loop in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, is a quick 1.2 miles. The Elephant Rock itself is near the beginning of the loop if you’re traveling counter-clockwise. Elephant Rock stands almost right up against the highway leaving room only for a pretty narrow trail. You’ll want to take a picture of this amazing rock, and the best perspective stand on a rise directly across the highway. I didn’t climb to the top of the rock across the highway because it looked steep and slick enough with few holds that it would be easy to slip and bang oneself up, and I needed to run the Old Arrowhead Trail another 6.8 miles back across the park. You can still get a pretty good perspective of Elephant Rock by standing just below the top of the rock across the highway.
The Elephant Rock Loop itself affords great views of the red rock hills almost directly against the back side of the loop to the North where there are plenty of amazing rock formations along with additional rock formations on the loop. And there are no difficult parts to this trail if you’re traveling on foot.
Cross the highway near Elephant Rock where there is a plaque describing the history of the Old Arrowhead Trail and you’ll find one of the entrances to that trail. A brief one mile walk along that trail affords even more amazing rock formations with arches and balancing rocks. A few of these rock formations are pictured on the Old Arrowhead Trail page of this website, where I describe my unintended deviation from the Old Arrowhead Trail.
In all, Elephant Rock Loop in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada is well worth the stop if for nothing else than getting a good picture of Elephant Rock.