If you are looking for a walk of solitude, the trail to Elephant Rock is not for you. Everybody and their dog can be found on this path, and that’s the beauty of it.
I have taken this trail all the way up to Elephant Rock during every season and have seen at least one person on the trail every time, and even a few equestrians from time to time. If you don’t bring your dog on the trail, expect to be in the minority. Most people let their pups run free alongside them, so be sure beforehand your dog is good with people, other dogs, and even horses. Because the trail in many places is fairly narrow and hard to move off of, keep a tight leash if your dog is temperamental with others. You’ll meet people of all ages and skill levels on this trail. The first couple miles consists of switch backs that have a slight elevation, but the trail levels out after that, making it a manageable trek for most people. We can usually get to Elephant rock and back in about 2 and a half hours while taking some time to enjoy the beauty around.
Once you reach elephant rock, you can continue up and around to continue on to Rudy’s Flat, but more on that later. Just the trip to the rock is well worth it! The steepest part of the hike is the short distance from the trail to the actual rock. For those who are just looking for a spectacular view, you can admire the rock and the view of the canyon from the bench provided here. For those seeking a bit more adventure, take the small trail down to the rock where you can climb directly on top. Be careful though, it’s not an ease scale. One slip and you’ll slide right off the elephant’s back. The absolute best time to be here is at sunset. There’s nothing more beautiful than the setting sun against the Great Salt Lake trailing up the winding trunk of the canyon. Be prepared with headlamps or flashlights if you come at this time to safely make the return trip.
Why I love this Hike
Searching for a dog friendly hike in the Wasatch Mountains seemed impossible for a long time. This trail is perfect for dogs and people of all shapes and sizes. I’ve seen fit dogs race alongside their owners mountain bikes and slow dogs meander up the trail, just enjoying the time spent outdoors. By far the best time to do this hike is in the fall. Even into the late summer there can be snow on the upper part of the trail, leading to muddy paws. By the time autumn comes around this has all melted, leaving the trail crisp and clean. But that’s not even the best part. If you go to Mueller Park for anything, go for the fall colors that outline the entire trail. Lose yourself in the golds, oranges, yellows, and browns that all make the chill in the air worth while. There’s something mystical about taking this path just at the turn of autumn, with leaves breaking from the trees guiding your way.
If you do this hike in the winter, there’s a good chance you won’t need snowshoes. The trail is so popular it’s generally easy to follow and packed down. Just watch out for ice!
How To Get There
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