Elephant Butte |

Arches National Park

Canyoneering Elephant Butte - Arches National ParkClimbing Elephant Butte - Arches National Park Canyoneering Elephant Butte
Arches National Park

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments


TICKS & TODOS: 32 Todo Lists / 31 Ticks
LENGTH: 3-5 Hours
GEAR: Standard canyoneering gear.
RAPPELS: 2 to 25 m ( 83 ft. )
SEASON: Any, no snow. Can be hot in the summer.
Sat Hi:56 Lo:36 Sun Hi:58 Lo:40 Mon Hi:61 Lo:36 Tue Hi:66 Lo:40 Wed Hi:68 Lo:46
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Elephant Butte, at 5653 ft., is the highest point in Arches National Park. The route, winding through the maze of entrada fins, requires good route finding (or persistence), a rappel, and a bit of lower 5th class climbing to reach some of the best views around. Elephant Butte makes a great outing for those canyoneers with a little climbing experience, or climbers. It is not very technical, but very rewarding with excellent views.

Caution: I've had several groups e-mail me recently that Elephant Butte had very challenging climbing sections. In all cases, it was raining or had rained the day they visited and the sandstone was wet. Not recommended if the weather is threatening, there is snow on the ground, or the ground is wet from recent rain! Even a little precipitation will make the climbing much more difficult. The rule for climbing on sandstone is to make sure the rock is 100% dry before climbing. Sandstone is fragile. At best climbing it wet will make it more difficult. At worst, anchors can fail in the weaker wet sandstone and holds can break permanently changing routes.

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