Arizona August 03, 2016
This Little Known Natural Oasis Is Hiding In Arizona…And You’re Going To Love It
Arizona is one beautiful location right after another and, if you know where to look, you can find hidden spots that only the tiniest fraction of the population have ever seen. Since the state, its deserts, and canyons are vast, finding these areas isn’t always the easiest task but that makes the journey even more worthwhile. These days, everyone knows about Slide Rock, Fossil Creek, and Havasu Falls but here’s one spot that is still pretty well hidden, thanks in part to the long journey it takes to get there.
This hidden oasis is called Elves Chasm and what an aptly named spot it is! The name conjures images of a green, enchanting place, quite a bit different from the desert scenery in the Grand Canyon.
Getting here requires a bit of a detour from the Royal Arch Loop, a 35-mile trail that usually takes backpackers 5 days to complete. The hiking here can get pretty intense and is recommended that you have quite a bit of experience before attempting this, especially since parts of the trail often look like what you see above and other parts require rappelling a couple dozen feet (or more) to reach continuing parts of the trail.
However, because of the difficulty, you will rarely come across other people, making it a peaceful experience that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere. Elves Chasm is found about two miles past the Royal Arches (picture above) on day three or four. This requires hiking one mile through some rocky terrain.
An alternative to getting to Elves Chasm is via the Colorado River, which is how most people arrive. This is a more expensive option since it usually requires a guide and itinerary but it adds a different experience level that, again, most people don’t opt for.
No matter how you choose to arrive, walking up to this little oasis is worth the time it takes to get here. In fact, let this short video show you exactly what you could experience while there!
Wasn’t that relaxing? While you may not plan out a multi-day trip just to get to this one location for a couple of hours, it sure adds a certain special flair to your retreat.
Hike ArizonaRafting details:
Western River Expeditions
If getting to this spot is a little much for you, there’s still plenty of hidden places around the state that offer a taste of what you’ll find at Elves Chasm. Check out our previous article,
8 Peaceful And Secluded Places In Arizona When You Want To Get Away From It All, for ideas.