Elephant Mountain Trail

HARD 26 reviews

Elephant Mountain Trail is a 6.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Cave Creek, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.5 miles 1402 feet Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

NOTE: Elephant Mountain has been purchased by a private owner and is no longer accessible.

hiking
29 days ago

I give it 4.25 - 5 stars. Nicely challenging!! Gorgeous scenery. I Recommend wearing hiking boots rather than running shoes. Boots will give you better traction (that you'll need) and keep you from turning an ankle. Super rocky in spots, but GORGEOUS views (although I recommend that you stop to take in the views, as it's too easy to turn an ankle or trip if you enjoy the scenery while moving). I posted some pics. Took my dog, but keep an eye out for fallen Jumping Cholla cacti because you don't want to remove them from your friend's paws. Most of them I could kick off the trail, but there was one area that I had to carry my dogger because they covered the entire trail.

hiking
30 days ago

beautiful scenery :)

1 month ago

5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

I know the secret to finding shade on this trail! I hiked Elephant Mountain twice in one day on the last weekend of May - at 8:30AM and 3PM (Sunrise 5:18AM; Sunset 7:31PM). Both times I took Spur Crossing/Tortuga/Elephant Mountain. On the morning hike, there was virtually no shade at all. On the afternoon hike, there were many long stretches of shade particularly after the 3-mile saddle crossing. There was a bit of a breeze that even made it feel very cool in the afternoon shade on the 93 degree day. I hike pretty fast, and easily completed the hike in 3 hours. I did not see the ruins. :( I saw only a handful of people on the morning hike; not a single person in the afternoon. Note that of the 7 mile hike, only the 2 miles of Elephant Mountain Trail are rated difficult; the rest of the hike is moderate; since I like difficult trails, that was a slight negative, but still a 4-star trail for sure. Many gnats and flies followed me around in the low areas, but didn't bite. Incredible desert views from the high points on the trail make this well worth a visit.

7 months ago

7 months ago

Great hike lots to see
Bring water

7 months ago

great hike. worth trying. not so steep.

hiking
8 months ago

8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Nice hike. No shade. Trail does not go to the top of mountain.

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

30 minutes from home and only saw 5 people on the entire Elephant Mountain loop on s Saturday. Be sure to gaze at the ruins as you pass through the saddle. Total hike was 7.5 miles from where we parked. Green grass and large cacti in some of the washes. Ocotillo were blooming on 30 Jan in one place. We will go again--3 bucks is very reasonable just don't forget cash. Also, we were fooled by some parked cars just before the actual parking area, so keep going!

hiking
11 months ago

Did this hike when I was young probably around 10 or so it was fun went with my brothers I'll do it agin one day

11 months ago

Awesome spectacular views pristine beauty rocky steep adventure not to be missed !

1 year ago

excellent hike. 7.5 miles, including a detour at the top. accurate measuments too (Fenix). spectacular springtime scenery, all in bloom. moderate ability, but only for the length, not very technical.

hiking
3 years ago

We saw more deer than people on the trail today. The trail goes over the saddle of elephant mountain. At the crest, you can see the ruins of an old pueblo along the promontory to the east. It's a very enjoyable hike, but be forewarned that there is very little shade on the western side of the loop.

hiking
3 years ago

So... yeah, I must have done something wrong because I took the right entrance from the trailhead and took 48 to Skull Mesa, but realized I wouldn't have gotten back in time. So I ended up taking 252 assuming it would just loop back... so 4 miles on 252 and I look at the map on my phone and realized there's no way I'd be connecting anytime soon so I turned around. So 8 miles, but it was a nice view!

hiking
3 years ago

Took Spur Cross to Tortuga to Elephant Mountain Trail, looping back on the Spur Cross Trail. Total of about 6.5 miles. Moderately difficult on the uphill climb to the saddle. There are Indian ruins on the top of the spire. Beautiful views. A good hike for a workout with nice scenery and reasonably desolate.

hiking
3 years ago

It's a short hike up Spur Cross followed by Tortuga to get to this trail and then back across a different section of Spur Cross to get back, which makes the quoted distance deceptive. I agree that it's probably a total of about 7 miles. But this is a beautiful hike, and we only saw two other hikers who braved the January cold to make it. It is a strenuous hike not for beginners or a casual jaunt, but it is definitely worth doing if you have the opportunity. The trail is well marked in most places with some notable exceptions on the backside of the mountain, but it is easy enough to follow. Well worth the effort.