Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Elephant Rocks State Park

The next stop I want to talk about from our little Missouri State Parks adventure is Elephant Rocks State Park.  

This park is absolutely gorgeous!  

Here are a few things to get us started:  they have a food truck that comes on Friday, Saturday and Sundays!  It is cash only since cell service is spotty.  They have regular flush toilets!  Always a plus.  The water fountains are currently not turned on as they are revamping their water system, but they do have vending machines if there is no food truck there.  (Drinks are the same price both places)  There is plenty of shade and a ton of space with picnic tables.  They have a fairly large playground.

Elephant Rocks is named after the large granite rocks!  There is even on part on the trail where they are lined up end to end and look like elephants parading.  The largest rock is named "Dumbo".  They don't know how many boulders are actually in the entire park.  The granite rocks were formed around 1.5 billion years ago.  Magma formed deep below the Earth's service forming the granite formations.  The granite, being much heavier than surrounding rocks were left after erosion wore the others away.  Water seeping into the cracks caused the round formations and expansions of the boulders.  The land form in which a pile of spherically weathered residual granite rock boulders sitting atop a bedrock mass of the same rock is called a "Tor".  Tors are abundant in other areas, but no in the area that Elephant Rocks exists.  It is considered one of the best examples of a Tor in the Midwest.

There are two official trails and you can also wander wherever you want (as long as it's not marked off).  
There is the Braille Trail.  It's a 1 mile loop and fairly easy.  It is designed for visually impaired persons and is also wheel chair accessible.  There are a few spurs on the trail: to the quarry and to the Elephant Rocks namesake formation.  Alli and I walked this one and took the short path to the Engine House.
The Engine House trail makes it a little longer and it is not wheelchair accessible as it is a non-concrete hiking path.  I recommend doing both of these paths.

Alli and I went to the other water formation that is not as busy.  Honestly, we didn't see a single person walking that trail around the pond.

I would definitely visit this park again.

One of the ponds available for fishing.  Less busy hiking over here.

Size comparison of the boulders in the picnic area.

Engine House Trail

This was called Fat Man's Squeeze.
The trail is still wheel chair and stroller accessible, it just goes around the boulders instead of through it.

The Quarry.


  1. Wow! What a beautiful park- thanks for sharing!

  2. So beautiful. I'm pinning this for when I finally get to Missouri.

    1. I have a few more posts about the area coming soon! I just need to upload the pics. They are all within 30 or so miles of each other.

  3. That looks like a beautiful place to explore!