Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
277.00 ft (84.43 m)
Trail type
3.40 mi (5.47 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Elephant Arch Trail is a popular hike in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve near Washington City, Utah. This 3.4 mile out-and-back hike explores lowland desert and leads you to a beautiful sandstone arch. This trail has some ups and downs, but gains under 300 feet of elevation. Elephant Arch Trail is best used in the fall, winter, and spring.

This hike starts at Mill Creek Trailhead. Begin hiking on Mill Creek Trail. This section of trail is a 2-track dirt road and is relatively flat. After about 0.3 miles of hiking you will reach a junction and take Bone Wash Trail.

The trail becomes a bit more sandy at this point. After about 0.5 miles on this trail, you will descend into a wash. You will be hiking in very deep sand at this point. As you travel through the wash, you will begin to see more and more red rock formations. Once you have been in the wash for about 0.6 miles, keep an eye out for a Elephant Arch Trail sign.

Take the Elephant Arch Trail up and out of the wash. From here you are only 0.4 mile from the arch and the end of the trail. This section of trail is almost all uphill and gains just over 200 feet of elevation.

Continue following the Elephant Arch Trail signs until you have spotted the aptly named Elephant Arch. Take some time to rest up and view the arch from all angles. Retrace your steps to return to the Mill Creek Trailhead.

Elephant Arch Trail is open year-round and does not have any associated fees. Dogs are allowed on this trail. This trail has no shade and can get very hot, so be sure to bring plenty of water. Elephant Arch Trail is a great moderate trail with a stunning arch as a reward at the end of the trail.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Arch. Rock Formations.


Sandy. No Shade.

Trailhead Elevation

3,132.00 ft (954.63 m)

Highest point

3,298.00 ft (1,005.23 m)

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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