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Elephant Rocks State Park

Elephant Rocks State Park June 12, 2018

Here is a slideshow of some of our photos taken in 2018.

Elephant Rocks State Park May 21, 2009

Elephant Rock 1959 (Missouri)

This 1959 video taken by my Grandpa shows climbing Pilot Knob Mountain, but at the end around the 7 minute mark they are also at nearby Elephant Rock

Elephant Rocks State Park is a popular place here in Iron County, Missouri that is well loved. Most people refer to it as "Elephant Rock" although the official name is plural. Although a map is not necessary for this easy to follow trail, you might want to take a look at it so you do not miss the Engine House Ruins. The main trail is a braille trail with identifiable places for a wheelchair to stop and read the braille. My path is usually to go down to the Engine House Ruins and then to come back up to the braille trail, and going off path again to visit the quarry before coming back to the braille trail again. If you do not do the middle section of the braille trail by hiking the extension trail, you will miss the string of large granite boulders which resemble a train of pink circus elephants for which the park is named. The view of the St. Francois Mountains from the top where the circus elephants are located is awesome. The braille trail is one mile in length, but with all the side trails you will walk a little further than that. Besides the engine house, there is a side trail to the pink circus elephants, another one through "Fat Man's Squeeze," and another that goes through "The Maze."

Elephant Rock is one of the places I can visit time and again and never grow weary of seeing it. Our sons used to climb all over the rocks and probably went twice the distance that we did staying on the trail, but they had a blast with their short-leashed independence. We also enjoy taking a picnic lunch to eat before we hit the trail as there are some nice picnic tables next to boulders.

The pink granite has been quarried in this area since 1869 and two abandoned granite quarries are within the park. The quarry near the entrance used to be a popular swimming spot, but now it is considered two dangerous to swim, so swimming off limits.



On June 12, 2018, we visited Elephant Rock with some friends and had a great time showing them around and being silly posing.

How many ways can we pose as if we are holding up the rocks?

Or maybe the rocks are crushing you between their elephant teeth.


On July 3, 2011, we visited Elephant Rock with a friend from out of state and had a good time. These are a few of those photos. I love Queen Anne's Lace flowers in the summer.

Some big kids never grow up.

There are many ways to pose pretending that you are holding up these big boulders. Get your imagination cap on!

Now that is one strong man!

His knees are giving in to the weight of the rocks he is holding up. Makes me laugh.


On May 21, 2009, we went on a family camping trip and visited Elephant Rock. I took a lot of photos and put them together in a slideshow above, but here are a few of them as well. It is easier to read the text on images so I am adding them here. Since I have heritage to this area and I have Native American DNA, I am always learning about those Indians that lived in this area.

Pink granite! It is amazing to look at close up. I hear some people calling Elephant Rock "Pink Rock" but I really think the term "Pink Rock" refers to the Castor River Shut-ins called Amidon.

One of the amazing things about these huge boulders is that they are support by very little connection to the rock below. It seems like they would just roll over and head down hill at any moment.

Now once you get to the circuis elephant rocks, it is a must-do to pose as if you are holding up these big rocks. Be sure to get your best facial-grunt face on!


In 2004 I took our teenager family and a friend camping and we visited Elephant Rock. Now teenagers can be big time climbers after they have practiced in their younger age, and a scary thing for a mom to watch. These rocks can be dangerous if one would slip and fall.


Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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