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Elephant Hill, a remote Jeep Badge of Honor Trail, takes you deep into the interior of the otherworldly scenery within the Needles District in Canyonlands National Park. Many call it one of Utah's most technical 4WD routes, which may or may not be true depending on your driving skills. Without question, this trail has the most pristine scenery and solitude in the area that a remote four-wheel drive can offer. The route immerses you in thousands of colorful sandstone spires reaching up from the desert floor. Adding to this topographical wonderland, arches, washes, plateaus, and narrow slot canyons are scattered along the ever-changing trail. The park only gives out 24 day-use permits per day for Elephant Hill, so plan ahead.
The route described in this guide is from the parking lot to Chesler Park and back. Elephant Hill connects to Devil's Lane, which connects to Bobby's Hole and Beef Basin for a multi-day trip. The trail is one-way in the southerly direction between Waypoints 10 through 15.
The road surface is a mix of rock and dirt and includes several very steep grades and tight switchbacks. While the rock has excellent traction, good driving skills and knowing your vehicle's capabilities are required. The most challenging portion of the trail is the very first mile, going up and over the actual Elephant Hill. One of the switchbacks requires driving in reverse for a few vehicle lengths. The narrowest portion of this trail, Devil's Pocket, Waypoint 14, is not suitable for wider vehicles. Longer wheelbase vehicles must take extra care navigating the obstacles at SOB Hill.
Canyonlands National Park lists the following restrictions for Elephant Hill:
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