The Visit Neighboring States Series
Elephant Rocks is worth the drive alone to southern Missouri! This fabulous geologically unique park will quickly become a family favorite.
We visited the park twice while on our trip. The kids ran and climbed for over two hours.
From the town of Ironton, finding the park is easy. It’s about a five minute drive from the Shepherd Mountain Inn hotel. Cell service in the area is very poor so plan ahead and print a map or pick up a brochure from the Arcadia Valley Welcome Center.
Our family was awed by the beauty and scale of the boulders. Some of them reached over 25 feet high.
These giant granite boulders can be enjoyed by everyone including grandparents and the visually impaired. Easy access is available by a paved trail.
Families with young children were climbing on the top flat rock face along with an older couple who just had knee replacement surgery.
But don’t let that fool you. Keep a close eye on your children and bring a first aid kit just in case. We experienced plenty of souvenir scrapes and bruises.
The paved trail leads up to the overlook.
Wooden stairs allow easier access to the flat rock face with the largest of the boulders.
And what you’ll find at the top is just breathtaking! You’ll find yourself standing there thinking…”Am I really only seven hours from central Iowa?”
You’re really standing on a giant boulder!
After the excitement over the amazing rock formations, a shady picnic area allows you to continue to savor the surroundings while being refreshed. Modern bathrooms are located in the parking lot area.
Beyond the picnic area are more amazing rocks to climb on and a beautiful little pond.
Turtles are everywhere in Arcadia Valley and the kids had fun keeping a tally of how many we saw.
There is much, much more to do at Elephant Rocks State Park, which we sadly didn’t have time for. I know this is going on our family’s “return” list!
The park has limited parking which fills up quickly on summer weekends. Consider visiting during the week. Shepherd Mountain Inn offers tours.