Elephant Rock - Las Vegas, Nevada - Truly ``Mammoth'' Red Sandstone Formation

Elephant Rock is one of the most photographed natural formations in Nevada's oldest and largest state park, The Valley of Fire. It is a red sandstone outcrop that looks very much like an elephant from every perspective.

Its long, straight snout extends all the way to the ground from a rounded head and slender neck. Its haunches are clearly defined, too. And from some angles it even appears to have shoulder blades, knees, and perhaps ears, if the shadows are just right.

Elephant Rock is visible from the road leading through the Valley of Fire State Park near the east entrance station. It does not look very different close up, but there is a short trail that takes visitors to its base for closer observation.

The Elephant Rock trailhead starts at an elevation of 1,640 feet and gains 50 feet en route to the formation. It is a quarter of a mile in length and graded as a moderate hike, accessible for children as well as adults. Dogs on leashes are permitted, too.

A visit to Elephant Rock takes about 40 minutes to an hour. The Valley of Fire is located near Overton, east from Las Vegas along Interstate 15 to Glendale Exit #93, and then south 15 miles on Nevada Route 169. A $6 per vehicle fee is charge to enter the park, which is open daily from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

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