Elephant Rocks State Park RV & Campground Guide
If you are looking to marvel at a few stunning geological formations, make sure to visit Elephant Rocks State Park. Situated to the southeast of Belleview, MO, this park is located in the Ozark Mountains, and it gets its name from the massive elephant-shaped boulders. These Precambrian granite boulder formations were formed over 1 billion years ago. Since the park is located in a forested area, it is the ideal spot for any outdoor activity. Whether you want to learn about its rich geological history or want to embrace your natural side, make sure to plan a visit to Elephant Rocks State Park.
St. Louis, MO
Park Hills, MO
RV Resorts & Campsites in Elephant Rocks State Park
No camping accommodations exist at Elephant Rocks State Park.
Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park Campground
As a local camping area that prides itself on offering natural beauty, Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is located just west of Elephant Rocks State Park. Sitting amidst the St. Francois Mountains, this park offers a rugged atmosphere for camping, hiking, nature exploration, and picnicking. Glades and rivers are abundant throughout the park, which is home to 17 terrestrial communities and more than 850 plant species.
• Location: Middle Brook, MO • Nightly Rate: $12-$30 • Wi-Fi: Yes, limited • Water Hookup: Yes • Sewer Hookup: Yes • Electric Hookup: Yes • Pet-Friendly: Yes • Other Features: Discount of $2 per night for senior citizens, military, and people with disabilities; modern restrooms and shower houses
Council Bluff Lake Recreation Area
Offering a more rustic camping experience, Council Bluff Lake Recreation Area is great for those looking to take advantage of local hiking, kayaking, boating, fishing, swimming, and camping. Sitting next to the largest lake in the Mark Twain National Forest, this area is known as the perfect location for outdoor activities.
• Location: Belgrade, MO • Nightly Rate: $11-$100 • Wi-Fi: No • Water Hookup: No • Sewer Hookup: No • Electric Hookup: No • Pet-Friendly: Yes • Other Features: Accommodations for RVs up to 40 feet in length, lantern posts and campfire rings provided, group sites available
Big Creek RV Park LLC
For a more modern camping experience, Big Creek RV Park LLC offers all the amenities you are looking for. Located off Highway 49, this RV park offers back-in and pull-through sites as well as a camp store, playground, horseshoe pit, and gathering area. Sitting next to a creek, visitors can feel free to wade in and cool off. A central volleyball court and arcade are some of this location’s favorite visitor attractions.
• Location: Annapolis, MO • Nightly Rate: $39-$48 • Wi-Fi: Yes • Water Hookup: Yes • Sewer Hookup: Yes • Electric Hookup: Yes • Pet-Friendly: Yes • Other Features: Discounts for Good Sam Club members, on-site pool, wide sites, nearby creek
RV Rentals Near Elephant Rocks State Park
Nearby RV Rentals
What to Do at
Elephant Rocks State Park
Elephant Rocks State Park offers a range of outdoor experiences. You can explore the unique geological formations through an extensive trail network. Boating and fishing on the serene lakes provide water-based adventures. While you are there, enjoy campfires, and embrace the park's tranquil beauty as the day winds down.
Elephant Rocks State Park is a harmonious blend of exploration and relaxation in the Ozark Mountain region.
Inside Elephant Rocks State Park
Unlike other destinations that solely offer walking trails, Elephant Rocks State Park is so much more than a hiking destination. While visitors can enjoy two different hiking trails – the Braille Trail and the Engine House Ruins Trail – this state park also offers quarry views, exploration of a local engine house, bird-watching, virtual tours, and a food truck. Designed for visitors of all physical ability levels, including those with physical disabilities, Elephant Rocks State Park welcomes everyone. Hiking through the main rock area, exploring the old engine house of a historic railroad, and photographing geological formations throughout the park are some of the most popular activities.
As a result of the nearby quarrying operation, several small lakes are open to fishing in a couple of specific areas. The lakes are not stocked but offer opportunities for catching panfish, such as bluegill. There are only a few designated spots for fishing, so you will want to check with the office.
If you want to add another layer of fun, consider geocaching. These caches are hidden containers that can be found at spots throughout the park. If you decide to participate, make sure not to damage the rocks or the mosses around the park.
When heading to Elephant Rocks State Park, you could encounter a deer, black bear, or mountain lion. There have even been reports of wild horses and elk in the Ozark area. Along with that, there are a ton of bird species, including house wrens, gray catbirds, and great crested flycatchers.
This park provides a clear view of the night sky. In the past, the park has hosted stargazing events, such as the Blood Moon Total Eclipse. When there is no event, you are welcome to lay down a blanket and look at the night sky.
Flora and Fauna
Along with the giant boulders, you can also enjoy the winged sumac, blackjack oak, and farkleberry. If you look at the rock faces, you will also see delicate moss and lichen clinging to the boulders. These organisms are fragile, and visitors should make sure not to disturb them.
The most popular trail in the park is called the Elephant Rocks Braille Trail. The pathway winds through the central area of the rocks, and it is about a mile long. Eventually, this trail will take you to the old engine house ruins of the Sheehan Quarry.
If you want to climb, you will have to do so in a few designated areas, including the Picnic Area, Angle Area, The Front Range, The Porch, Gill Boulder, The Herd, The Den, Father and Son Area, North Mountain, Northern Exposure, Trojan Boulder, The Man and Mother Corner, and North Quarry Pool Area. Climbing is only available on weekdays due to the large crowds.
Bikers can take a leisurely ride along the Elephant Rocks Braille Trail. Since the hikers use the path, you will want to proceed with caution. Remember to stay on the roads, and never ride your bike on the boulders.
How to Get to
Elephant Rocks State Park
If you want to get to the park, here are a few directions:
From Pilot Knob, Missouri: Take Highway 21 north for about 3.75 miles. The entrance to the park will be on the right (north) side of Highway 213.
From Springfield/Joplin: You will want to take I-44 towards St. Louis. Once you reach St. James, take Exit 195 at the St. James Overpass, and turn right onto Highway 8. Make sure to follow Highway 68 until you reach the junction of Highway 68 and Highway 8. Stay to the left to continue on Highway 8. This will take you all the way to Potosi. Once you reach Potosi, turn right onto Highway 21, and continue for about 5 miles until you reach Elephant Rocks State Park.
From St. Louis: Start on I-55 S from South Tucker Boulevard and Chouteau Avenue. You need to follow I-55 S and US-67 S to MO-221 S in Farmington. After that, take the MO-221 S exit from US-67 S. Continue on MO-221 S. You need to take MO-32 W and MO-21 S to your destination in Belleview.
Entering Elephant Rocks State Park
There are plenty of spaces to park. Like all Missouri state parks, there is no entrance fee to enjoy the park.
Elephant Rocks State Park Per Person : $0.0
We are excited that you chose Elephant Rocks State Park for your exploration and RVing destination. This park has amazing opportunities for guests both inside and outside of its legendary gates. If you are interested in sightseeing as part of an RV trip, please visit RVshare to look at reservation options. Be sure to share your photos, stories, and fun adventures at [email protected]!
Frequently Asked Questions About Elephant Rocks State Park
The ideal time to explore Elephant Rocks State Park is during the spring and fall seasons. The weather is quite pleasant during these seasons, making it perfect for outdoor activities. Also, the natural surroundings are at their most picturesque, offering the opportunity to witness vibrant foliage or blooming flora. However, summers can be hot, and winter may limit some activities due to cold temperatures.
Elephant Rocks State Park has white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and a variety of songbirds that contribute to the natural landscape. Sharp-eyed visitors can spot eastern box turtles, chipmunks, and the occasional armadillo or bobcat. The park's unique combination of rocky terrain and wooded areas provides a habitat for a wide range of animal species.
Elephant Rocks State Park does not offer any spots for RV camping. Several nearby campgrounds will be able to accommodate your rig.
Camping is not allowed in the park. The main focus remains on daily activities. You can find camping locations at other state parks near the Elephant Rocks area.
Pets are permitted on trails and in the park, but dogs must be leashed at all times. Only service animals are allowed inside park buildings.
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