Elephant Head: East Ridge Trail

HARD 3 reviews
#25 of 61 trails in

Elephant Head: East Ridge Trail is a 8.5 mile out and back trail located near Amado, AZ and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from September until May.

8.5 miles 3523 feet Out & Back


Remote location, exceptional scenery, exposed desert summit From the parking area hike south through Chino Canyon. After about 1.4 miles, you'll pass the ruins of the old Elephant Head Mill. The small granite peak to your right is Little Elephant Head. Continue on to the upper reaches of Chino Basin. As you climb out of the basin you will catch your first glimpse of the east ridge of Elephant Head. As soon as you start heading northeast a faint trail will split off of the main trail. It will take you down into the valley, on your left, and up the other side to the prominent saddle at the base of the east ridge. Be alert and don't miss the trail, it is marked by a large cairn. This portion of the trail is hard follow but it is marked with several small cairns. Once at the saddle you've reached the best part.The rest of the hike is easy scrambling up a granite ridge. The route up is marked by closely spaced cairns. Soon you will be standing on the small exposed summit of Elephant Head.

1 month ago

Very nice hike. A bit overgrown in some parts but very much worth the wile

2 months ago

The Agua Caliente Road has been resurfaced as of Summer 2016. Any passenger vehicle can again get access to the Elephant Head and Agua Caliente trail heads.

1 year ago

great views

make sure you have a high clearance vehicle or you will add an hour on each end

no cell service often so take the correct precautions