Elephant Rocks State Park

Imagine giant granite rocks standing end-to-end like a train of circus elephants. That’s what you’ll see at Elephant Rocks State Park.

Standing atop a granite outcrop, one of the largest elephant rocks, Dumbo, tops the scales at a whopping 680 tons! Visitors to Elephant Rocks State Park can easily view the granite boulders from the one-mile Braille Trail, designed to accommodate people

with visual or physical disabilities. The trail passes by a quarry pond, which now supports a variety of animal life. A short spur off of the trail takes visitors to the top of the granite outcrop, where they can explore the maze of giant elephant rocks.

The formation of this extraordinary herd of elephants began during the Precambrian era about 1.5 billion years ago. Molten rock, called magma, accumulated deep below the earth’s surface. The magma slowly cooled, forming red granite rock. As the weight of the overlying rock was removed by erosion, horizontal and vertical cracks developed, fracturing the massive granite into huge, angular blocks. Water permeated down through the fractures, and groundwater rounded the edges and corners of the blocks while still underground, forming giant rounded masses. Erosion eventually removed the disintegrated material from along the fractures, and exposed these boulders at the earth’s surface.

Physical and chemical weathering in low areas on the crest of the large granite outcrop has produced distinct, roughly circular depressions up to several feet in diameter, called “solution pans” or “tinajitas.” Temporary pools of water that collect in these depressions often provide a home for tadpoles and mosquito larvae.

Since no official census of the herd has ever been taken, the exact number of “elephants” inhabiting the park is unknown. Although the elephant rocks are continually eroding away, new elephants are constantly being exposed. Information collected on Dumbo, the patriarch of Elephant Rocks State Park, shows that he is 27 feet tall, 35 feet long and 17 feet wide. At a weight of 162 pounds per cubic foot, Dumbo tips the scales at a hefty 680 tons.

Thirty picnic sites among the giant red boulders provide ample opportunity for family picnicking and exploration of the elephant rocks. Camping is not available in Elephant Rocks State Park, but can be found in several nearby state parks. Pets must be on leashes. Rock-climbing equipment is not to be used in the park

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