Elephant Mountain is named for its shape when viewed from either Hop or Patterson Canyon. The "head" of the elephant faces south with the "body" further north. The summit is a broad flat plain with grass and a few trees. Many sides are gaurded by cliffs that offer fun scrambling if you choose.
Note: The USGS quad map labels the summit elevation incorrectly. The correct summit elevation is 8018'
Red Tail Hawk
New Mexico Rank:
Rank and Prominence information from
Lists of John
From I-25 exit on S California St (exit 147) and head north to Spring St. Turn left onto Spring St (US-60). Continue on US-60 for about 25 miles to the town of Magdalena. Turn left onto Kelly Rd (the first street past the Ranger Station). Continue up this road until it comes to a fork. The left fork goes to Patterson Canyon, the right fork goes up Hop Canyon. Parking along the side of the road shortly up Hop Canyon is available. It is possible to park along the road in numerous other places further south in Hop Canyon, just be aware of private residences.
Elephant Mountain is a Mesa guarded by cliffs on many sides. There is a small bump on the south end that is the "head" of the elephant.
If parking at the north end of the mountain traverse to the south end of the mountain (there are no trails). Pick up a trail segment that will take you to the saddle between the "head" and "body" of the elephant. From there a path is defined that will take you to the top of the mesa.
Views from the summit:
Looking N: Magdalena Mountain Looking S:Baldy Ridge
Looking NE: Ladron Benchmark Deer on the summit area
The summit of this mountain is on public land, however, a significant amount of the land around it is private land. Only access the mountain via public lands.
There is no camping on Elephant Mountain but there are campgrounds elsewhere in the Magdalena Mountains.
Local weather: Magdalena
Local Search and Resuce Team: Cibola SAR
Cibola National Forest - Magdalena Ranger District