Elephant Hill - Confluence Overlook

Moab, Utah

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1 Review
4 out of 5
This 23-mile ride consists of a pair of out-and-back spurs shooting off from a 7-mile loop. Early on it crosses Elephant Hill, notorious far and wide among the four-wheel-drive crowd as a challenge to one’s driving skills (you’ll understand why). The first (and last) three miles of the ride are over good gravel, whereas the rest is over smooth and ledgy slickrock and typically very sandy four-wheel-drive road. You’ll pass a couple of backcountry campsites on the loop; to take advantage of them, however, you’d want to pack bivouac-style because hauling a heavy load through the sand would be misery defined. You’ll also need to register at the Visitor Center to use the backcountry sites. You can make the ride six miles shorter by driving three miles to the Elephant Hill parking area, but the ride on gravel to that point provides a good warm-up for the rigors of “the hill,” atop which you’ll gain tremendous views of the Sixshooter Peaks and other distant and nearby features. General location: 75 miles southwest of Moab.
Mountain Bike! Southern Utah

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Mountain Bike! Southern Utah

by Michael McCoy (Menasha Ridge Press)

This 23-mile ride consists of a pair of out-and-back spurs shooting off from a 7-mile loop. Early on it crosses Elephant Hill, notorious far and wide among the four-wheel-drive crowd as a challenge to one’s driving skills (you’ll understand why). The first (and last) three miles of the ride are over good gravel, whereas the rest is over smooth and ledgy slickrock and typically very sandy four-wheel-drive road.

You’ll pass a couple of backcountry campsites on the loop; to take advantage of them, however, you’d want to pack bivouac-style because hauling a heavy load through the sand would be misery defined. You’ll also need to register at the Visitor Center to use the backcountry sites. You can make the ride six miles shorter by driving three miles to the Elephant Hill parking area, but the ride on gravel to that point provides a good warm-up for the rigors of “the hill,” atop which you’ll gain tremendous views of the Sixshooter Peaks and other distant and nearby features. General location: 75 miles southwest of Moab.

©  Michael McCoy/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Moab
Distance: 23
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Technical Difficulty: Difficult
Physical Difficulty: Moderate
Season: March through May; September through November
Local Contacts: Moab Multi-Agency Information Center, 435-259-8825
Local Maps: Canyonland Official Map and Guide, available at the Visitor Center
Driving Directions: Directions to Elephant Hill - Confluence Overlook

Recent Trail Reviews

3/25/2005
0

From the Squaw campground it is about a 24 mile ride. What a great great ride with a bit of everything including some slick rock. Elephant Hill is a very tough, albeit short, climb, and will test your skills early on. The greatest thing about this ride is the solitude and the incredible scenery of the Needles region. Bring a camera and don't be in a hurry. I did get caught in a hail storm, but in the Devils Kitchen there are plenty of overhangs. The ride out to the confluence overlook is sandy and was covered in tumbleweeds that made life interesting. The 1/3 mile hike to the overlook is worth it. The return loop is pretty sandy but nothing that isn't rideable. Great early season ride. I saw one ORV at the confluence, and that was it. No other bikers or ORV. The only downside is that it is a 75 minute drive from Moab, or is that an upside.



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