Viewpoints of the Colorado River: Elephant Canyon, Canyonlands National Park


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Elephant Canyon
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Many hikers in the Needles section of Canyonlands National Park encounter Elephant Canyon near its upper end, on the way to Chesler Park, but the lower part of the drainage provides an interesting 5 mile, off-trail route to the Colorado River. The hike starts along the Confluence Overlook Trail, as far as a crossing of the canyon, then follows the drainage downstream. The lower end of the ravine deepens considerably by several dryfalls, but benches on the west side allow a relatively easy walk to a viewpoint of the river, about 500 feet above. The views extend east to the lower end of Salt Creek, and south to a feature known as The Slide, where the river is partly blocked, forming a short series of rapids.

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