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Elephant Rock, Al Ula: Natural Rock Formation For Family Getaways


Renowned as the Elephant Rock, Jebel Al-Fil is a natural rock formation that resembles an elephant. Tourists flock to the structure for its unique look and beautiful vistas. The location offers a mesmerizing natural setting away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Tourists can find decent eateries and restaurants near the area with seating space and open lounges for a complete experience. They can enjoy barbeque nights or camp under the starlight near the Elephant Rock. There is also a trekking trail near the structure, attracting a number of hikers and trekkers from around the world.

Popular trip duration

Though one can spend hours near the structure watching the beautiful views, tourists should visit other nearby places in Al Ula to make the most out of the day. Hence, they can opt for full-day guided tours offered by numerous travel agencies. On the itinerary, one can add several tourist spots worth visiting in the city, such as Al Ula old town, Hegra Heritage Site, Al Joud Farm, and more.

About Al Ula

Located in the Madinah region, Al Ula is a city based on the north-western side of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Well-known for stunning rock outcroppings, Al Ula is nothing short of a natural museum. A fine specimen of nature’s architectural brilliance, these beautiful spots result from the erosion process, which went on for millions of years. The formations have unique colors, shapes, and structures. The city provides several adventure and biking trails such as Heritage Oasis Trail, Al Ula Hidden valley hike, the Ridge walk hike, Rock Art Hike, Twisted Maze hike, etc. Adventure lovers can head on to the 4×4 safari, buggy tours, camel riding, and rock climbing offered in various areas of the city. Tourists also visit the city for the historical heritage site of Hegra (UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Elephant Rock Al Ula location and structure


Located nearly 11 km on the northern side of Al Ula, the Elephant Rock is a 52 meters high rock structure. It has a huge gap in the center, which is how the whole rock is segregated into two parts. One part (the backside) looks similar to the elephant’s body, while the other part (i.e., the front side) resembles the ground-bound trunk and face of the animal. The details of the rock look as if it was carved manually, but in reality, the credit for this refined structural masterpiece goes to the natural forces.

The fine sandy landscape and a beautiful blend of orange and blue-hued horizon make the rock formation more mesmerizing and captivating. To add to it, the picturesque and intricate mix of brown and orange shades of Jabal Al-Fil tends to blend perfectly with the scenic backdrop. This offers a perfect opportunity for photography enthusiasts to click stunning pictures. Furthermore, one can take amazing shots of the Elephant Rock during sunsets or under the moonlight. All this combined, the rock attracts tourists, including history buffs, nature lovers, geologists, and even art connoisseurs.

How to reach Elephant Rock: One can drive to the Elephant Rock and park at the designated area. Another way to reach is to hire a cab or hitchhike. The rock is at a distance of 19.1 km from Al Ula’s city Center.

Timings: The area remains open from 4 pm to 12 am. The best time to visit Jabal Al-Fil is sunset or at night. During this time of the day, the place is well-lit and bustling with crowds.

Ticket: Elephant Rock Saudi Arabia price for a ticket is 50 SAR. Visitors are required to reach on time as the entry is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Things to do at Elephant Rock


1. Hike to the Elephant Rock, Al Ula

The surrounding area is ideal for hiking activities attracting adventure seekers throughout the year. The hiking trails are nearly 4 km long, and it may take almost 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the trail. After a hiking session, one can also enjoy a picnic with friends or family. In addition, travelers can relax near the rock formation and enjoy the wonderful view of this stunning geological art.

Suggested Read: 5 Most Popular And Beautiful Trekking Trails In Saudi Arabia

2. Dine at the nearby restaurants

Tourists visiting the Elephant rock can eat at an onsite Salt Al Ula restaurant. The restaurant also provides elephant rock Saudi Arabia seating and bonfire facilities for guests to enjoy and spend a memorable time. Tourists can choose from various food options to experience the food truck-styled menus at the restaurant. The restaurant also provides kid-friendly dishes to welcome adults and children alike. Several other nearby eating joints include Annabel’s Cafe, Alfa’s Retreat, Burger Chefs, Heritage Garden, and more.

3. Enjoy the sunset & click some Insta-worthy pictures


At the time of sunset, the whole area takes on the cover of pleasing orange and red. Tourists can click amazing pictures of the view or can simply sit back and praise the beauty spread all over the region. There are many lounging spaces in the natural surroundings for people to eat their meal close to nature.

4. Camp or have a picnic under the stars

To feel the calmness and the charm of the mystical Arabian desert, tourists can camp under the stars near the structure. Tourists also get the option to eat at the onsite restaurant while watching the constellation and having a memorable time with friends and family. The natural moonlight significantly adds to the magnificence of Elephant Rock.

Suggested Read: Camping In Saudi Arabia: Top Sites For Adventure Amidst Rustic Nature

Things to remember

Here are some of the important points to keep in mind while visiting this beautiful structure:

  • One should dress modestly and avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes
  • Visitors should cooperate with staff
  • Travelers should keep their passports and/or visa with themselves if they need to show them at entry points
  • One shouldn’t litter around so as to ensure cleanliness
  • It is advised to carry sunscreen, sanitizer, and an umbrella
  • One should purchase tickets in advance in order to avoid the last-minute rush

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has been going all-in when it comes to worldwide tourism. From the development of cities to restoring the glory of the past, Saudi Arabia is adhering to the Vision 2030 of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Soud. With Al Ula entering the international tourism scene, Jabal Al-Fil has become quite significant in the global arena as one of the most popular rock structures globally. Additionally, the location has a restaurant and hiking trail to keep the tourists occupied and pleased at all times. Therefore, this amazing geomorphological wonder is a must-visit and an important element of Al Ula’s heritage and history.

Elephant Rock FAQs

How far is Prince Abdulmajeed Bin Abdulaziz Airport from Elephant Rock?

Prince Abdulmajeed Bin Abdulaziz Airport is nearly 46.3 km away from Elephant Rock.

Is there any onsite restaurant at Elephant Rock Al Ula?

Yes, the location has Salt Al Ula Restaurant providing dishes for adults as well as children.

What are the popular activities at Elephant Rock?

Tourists can visit the spot to click pictures, enjoy eating and bonfire at onsite restaurant, and go for a hike nearby.

How was Elephant Rock formed?

The natural sandstone structure is known to have been formed over time by the erosion process and chiseled by water and wind.

What are the ticket prices of Elephant Rock?

The entry fee to Elephant Rock is SAR 50 subjected to first come first serve basis.

Pratyush Srivastava

I think, every human is a beautifully concealed epoch in the making with God to unravel it at the perfect time. Hence, synergizing with distinctive individuals in search of an interesting story is my favorite work as a writer and creator.

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