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AlUla’s Star of The Show: The Elephant Rock

Yes, you read that right, an elephant.

The rural regions of Saudi Arabia are famous for their desert landscapes, as well as many of its cliffs, dunes, and mountains. However, it’s not every day you see a cliff resembling an elephant.

Elephant Rock, otherwise known as "Jabal Al Fil" to the locals, is a natural wonder located just 11 kilometers north of AlUla, and measures over 50 meters in height. Impressive, breathtaking, and set against a stunning landscape, Jabal Al Fil is indeed the natural landmark of the region, perhaps similar to what the Pigeon Rock is to Lebanon or the Arch of Cabo San Lucas is to Mexico.

How Elephant Rock got its name is quite obvious as it really does resemble an elephant. A huge space in the middle divides the rock into two sections: one resembling an elephant's body, and the other its face and trunk touching the sand. It does sound man-made, but this formation was actually due to millions of years of wind and erosion.

Like most desert sceneries, Elephant Rock perfectly blends in the landscape with its complex, picturesque combination of orange and brown colors, making the overall setting a key reason that tourists flock to the area. In fact, Elephant Rock is open to visitors, as one can either hike around the area or settle down for a picnic. You can visit the area at any time of day, so it's possible to get a unique shot of Elephant Rock at sunset.

around the area. The 4km hiking trails will take approximately 1.5 - 2 hours to cover, considered medium-level, and is a sure way to experience the tranquil setting up-close.

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