Elephant Rocks and Roll
Route Distance: 148 miles with over 350 curves
Gasoline Locations: Eminence, Ellington, Graniteville, Bixby, Bunker
Time Frame: 3-5 hours
Attractions along the route: Current River, Johnson’s Shut-Ins, Elephant Rocks, Round Spring and Cave
Elephant Rocks and Rolls route is an adventure packed ride that takes you to some very different and spectacular places. The journey is loaded with sweepers, has some great places to hike, and samples a few of the unique state parks and geologic wonders of our area.
Johnson’s Shut-Ins — A one-fourth mile walkway takes visitors to an observation deck overlooking the shut-ins where the water of the East Fork of the Black River become confined or “shut in” to a narrow channel. Water-borne sand and gravel cut deeply even in the erosion-resistant rock, carving potholes, chutes and canyon-like gorges. A great place to swim!
Elephant Rocks encompasses a very unusual outcropping of Precambrian granite in the St. Francis Mountains. It’s named for a string of large granite boulders that resemble a string of pink circus elephants. A wide variety of hiking trails take visitors on special treks on and over and through these well worn rocks. Don’t miss the old rock quarry.
The Bixby Country Store is an interesting stop with good food and fuel.
Round Spring is actually a cave roof collapse where you can peer down at the azure waters through a circular cavern. Round Spring Cave is shown in the summer by the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
Directions: Departing from Eminence you will head east on HWY 106 for 28 miles to Ellington where HWY 106 will dead end into HWY 21 where you will take a left on HWY N for 6 miles and Johnson’s Shut-Ins is on the right.
Departing from the Shut-Ins you take a right on HWY N for 22 miles where it dead ends into HWY 21. Take a left for a mile and Elephant Rocks is on the right.
Departing from Elephant Rocks take right on HWY 21 for 6 miles, left on HWY 32 for 28 miles to HWY KK for 23 miles where it dead ends into HWY 72. Right for a mile to HWY A where you take a left in the middle of the metropolis of Bunker.
Awesome HWY A ends in 16 miles at Scenic HWY 19. Take a left on HWY 19 and in 8 miles you will cross the Current River and Round Spring is on the left. Leaving Round Spring take a left on HWY 19 back for 13 miles back to Eminence.