Chesler Park Overlook

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Time Required:
Half a day

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Chesler Park Overlook
Created On: Jun 12, 2005
Last Edited On: Jun 12, 2005


This hike begins at the Elephant Hill Trailhead. The trailhead is located at the end of a three mile dirt graded road that should be no problem for a passenger vehicle. This road can be accessed by driving past the Squaw Flat Campground turnouts on the main park road.

Route Description

From the trailhead the trail climbs steeply to the top of a plateau. At one point a staircase is cut into a boulder forming a small canyon nearly eighteen inches wide. The trail climbs up over large boulders, and it can be very slick and narrow in some parts. This initial climb up to the plateau is merely a preview of upcoming attractions and can be very steep. Once on the plateau the trail levels off. The trail passes under and around some needles rock formation before crossing over the rim of a small canyon. From here the climbs up over some rock formations and down onto another plateau. Cross this plateau and follow the trail to the next row of needles.

From here the trail continues through a small canyon between two rock formations and opens out into another meadow beneath huge splendid sheer walled needle formations. Cross this meadow pass through a small canyon and exit out onto a rock outcropping overlooking Elephant Canyon and formations surrounding it. From you can see the rest of the route though the hardest part of the route lies directly ahead of you.

The route descends down into a a very narrow slot type canyon that slowly widens itself as it descends to the base of the canyon. Cross over a few ledges and descend some staircases until you finally get to the sandy bottom of Elephant Canyon. Here another trail branches off to follow canyon bottom to go to Druid Arch 3.5 miles away. To continue to Chesler Park climb up out of the canyon up a narrow side canyon. The trail climbs up in the much the same way it went down. Climb up rock ledges, till you eventually reach the top where it levels off. The trail can bevery slick and narrow and the exposure in some places is pretty intense. After reaching the top of the canyon you can look up at you final objective. Immediately above you are three sharp singular towers, and the trail passes through a pass between the left two. The final .2 miles of the trail are very steep as the trail switchbacks up into this pass. From this pass you can look out over all of Chesler Park.

Many longer loop options are available from here to allow you to more thoroughly explore this great place. However, this pass alone is a worthy destination and you can return to the trailhead from here.

Essential Gear

A good sturdy pair of hiking boots is highly recommended as well as LOTS of water. Sun protection gear is also a must.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Chesler Park Overlook

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