Elephant Hill

Monticello, Utah (SanJuan County)

Last Updated: 03/21/2022
5 / 5 ( 12 reviews )
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Highlight: Elephant Hill
The Elephant Hill off-road trail takes you deep into the interior of the otherworldly scenery that lays within the Needles District in Canyonlands National Park. Some call it one of the most technical routes in all of Utah, which may or may not be true depending on your driving skills. Without question, though, is that this trail has some of the most amazing scenery and solitude in the area accessible by four-wheel drive. Along the route, you are immersed in the thousands of the colorful sandstone spires that come up from the desert floor, washes, cliff edges, and narrow slot canyons. The road over Elephant Hill was originally built in the early 1940s by a man named Puge Stocks, to improve the cattle grazing activity in the area. Several small airstrips were also built in the area after the road was finished, so light airplanes could service the ranching operations. Although it is not visible today, one of the runways was near the road on the top of Elephant Hill! Only twenty-four day-use permits are allowed per day for this trail, so be sure to plan appropriately. This is also a Jeep Badge of Honor Trail.


Route Information

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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
Drive through the gate uphill. Even though uphill has the right-of-way, be sure to check for other vehicles coming down.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Moab, Utah

Drive south 40 miles on 191 and turn right/west onto 211. Follow 211 west for roughly 34 miles to the Guard Station at Canyonlands National Park. Continue another 3 miles past the visitor center and turn left at the sign for Elephant Hill. Follow a dirt road another 2.7 miles to the parking lot for Chesler Park hiking trailhead. You will see a gate with a steep road winding up the cliffside as your starting point.



Trail Reviews (15)

Questions & Answers (3)

Q: I have a 2020 Ford Ranger, 3-1/2” lift on 33s…wondering if this trail will be doable? Lots of experience in southern Utah on rocks and sand but this will be my first visit to Moab.
–Dan Long (07/14/2021)
–Todd (07/14/2021)
–Dan Long (07/14/2021)
–Todd (07/14/2021)
Q: We have a 2 door 2020 JL Rubicon that is bone stock driveline wise (no lift, stock 33" BFG KO2's and factory skids). We are experienced 4 wheelers and have done difficult trails in the past (Rubicon, Dusy Ershim, etc.), but those were in more capable vehicles (35's and 3.5" lift, skids, etc.). How do you think the 2 door JL Rubicon in stock form would do on this trail. I guess my biggest concern is clearance.
–Gordon (12/26/2019)
–Todd (12/27/2019)
Q: Doable in a stock '15 Cherokee Trailhawk?
–Justin Wild (02/01/2018)
–Ben Ruddell (10/06/2019)
–Justin Wild (02/05/2018)
–Todd (02/04/2018)

Writer Information



Todd is an avid wheeler who loves to explore new trails whenever and wherever he can. They say necessity is the mother of all invention and that holds true for Todd. His want and desire to find passable trails and new nooks and crannies of the Great American West to explore were his reasons behind starting Trailsoffroad.com. On any given weekend you can find Todd on some obscure 4x4 trail or using his legs to hike to an alpine lake.
For individual use only, not to be shared.