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Elephant Butte

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North Gorge Route T 
Standard (West Fins) T 

Elephant Butte Rock Climbing 

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Location: 38.69592, -109.54034 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: toddgordon Gordon on May 5, 2007
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Summit view southeast to the La Sals. October 2012

  • Raptor Closures 2017: Check status and details at: -Read about Anchor Replacement and Restrictions in Arches National Park
  • RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    I believe this is the high point of Arches Nat. Park, at 5,653 feet. I doubt if this butte gets climbed too often, but for high point seekers, it's a good adventure.

    Getting There 

    I believe you start at the Garden of Eden Parking lot ( Same as for Owl Rock), but the butte is over by the windows area...down the road a piece.

    Climbing Season

    Weather station 7.8 miles from here

    2 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

    Classic Climbing Routes in Elephant Butte

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Elephant Butte:
    Standard (West Fins)   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Trad, 1 pitch, 1100'   
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Elephant Butte

    Featured Route For Elephant Butte
    Rock Climbing Photo: The rubble filled gully is the key to this route o...

    Standard (West Fins) 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a  Utah : Moab Area : ... : Elephant Butte
    Hike past Owl Rock and into the drainage on the south side of Elephant Butte. Look for a rubble filled gully leading up between two fins (see photos) and head up into it. As it narrows and ends, you will see a small fin that comes down. Climb the fin and continue up into the next meadow. Leave the meadow on the right and follow a bowl up as it steepens and dead-ends at a short wall. This wall is the crux and can be climbed on either the left or right side at about 5.3-5.4. Once above the wa...[more]   Browse More Classics in Utah

    Photos of Elephant Butte Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Steve Swanke and friend at the summit of Arche's H...
    Steve Swanke and friend at the summit of Arche's H...

    Comments on Elephant Butte Add Comment
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    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 7, 2007
    Indeed I believe Elephant Butte is the highest point in Arches National Park. Gerry Roach has a new guidebook coming out on climbing the highest point in each National Park. Look for it ...
    By Aaron Ihinger
    From: Ridgway,CO
    Dec 4, 2009
    Just ventured here for the first time. Fun adventure to a promiment place to be sure, but a 5.4,A1 rating is way over the top. Let's call it a stiff scramble worthy of a short belay at the crux with some route finding along the way and a couple of rappels. More of a canyoneering trek than a climb... I'll go as far as a 5.2 rating, but that's tops. Just do it, it's a N.P. highpoint for goodness sake! if you need any aid at all, it's just some good beta so as not to get lost and frustrated. As with all sandstone canyoneering, take your harness off when not rappelling and it will serve you far longer. A 60M rope is nice for the spiral approach rappel (but not necessary), because it can get pinched and require an upclimb to retrieve it anyway and a 30M rope is more than enough for the free rappel on the way out.

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