Elephant Mountain WMA

Phone: (432) 364-2228
109 S. Cockrell
Alpine, TX 79830

Contact: Cody McEntire

Dates Open: Year round except: except entire area closed for special hunts
Driving Tour is open May 1 through August 30, annually.


Elephant Mountain WMA consists of 23,147 acres within the Trans-Pecos Ecological Region of west Texas. The WMA is located along the east side of SH 118, approximately 26 miles south of Alpine, in Brewster County. Elephant Mountain WMA was acquired through private donation in 1985 for the purpose of conservation and development of desert bighorn and large game animals, wildlife-oriented research, and other compatible recreational uses including public hunting. Desert bighorn have been established on the area. Other wildlife species present include desert mule deer, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, scaled quail, rattlesnakes, whiptail lizards, and spadefoot toads.

The most prominent feature of the area is Elephant Mountain (6,225 feet above sea level) which extends from the northern to southern property boundaries. The large flat-topped mountain of igneous origin rises nearly 2,000 feet above the surrounding table land. The top of the mountain covers over 2,200 acres and is not open to the public to prevent disturbance to the desert bighorn herd. The Del Norte Mountains which are of sedimentary origin form the eastern property boundary. Elevations within the Del Norte range vary from 4,800 to 5,300 feet above sea level. The remainder of the area may be described as level to nearly level, with elevations ranging from 4,200 to 4,800 feet. The property is drained by Calamity Creek, located to the west of Elephant Mountain, and Chalk Draw, located to the east of Elephant Mountain.

Vegetation on Elephant Mountain WMA lies within a transition zone between the arid Chihuahuan Desert scrub to the south and high desert grasslands to the north. There are five major habitat types present on the WMA.
These include:
  • Desert Scrub
  • Desert Grassland
  • Riparian Zones
  • Juniper-pinyon-Oak Woodlands
  • Deciduous Canyon Woodlands.

Much of the vegetation on Elephant Mountain WMA has been modified to some degree, due to grazing, lack of a natural fire regime, periods of drought, periods of intense rainfall and in some areas mechanical disturbance from agricultural practices. These phenomena have resulted in a somewhat changed vegetative state than what might naturally have occurred.

Elephant Mountain WMA is designated as a wildlife research and demonstration area. As such, the area will be managed and operated in accordance with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Public Lands Policy.

Areas of this type are dedicated to the following prioritized activities:
  1. wildlife management
  2. research
  3. demonstration
  4. appropriate public use

Primary goals for the management of Elephant Mountain WMA, in prioritized order, are:

  1. To develop, manage, and restore wildlife habitats and populations of indigenous wildlife species.
  2. To provide a site where research of wildlife populations and habitats can be conducted under controlled situations.
  3. To provide for public hunting and appreciative use of wildlife in a manner compatible with the resource.
  4. To provide areas to demonstrate habitat development and wildlife management practices to landowners and other interested groups.
  5. To provide a natural environment and facilities for use by educational groups, naturalists, and other professional investigators.
  6. To provide a source of desert bighorn brood-stock for transplanting to depleted habitats.
  • Registration required at self-registration station.
  • Bring your own drinking water.
  • A composting toilet is located at the campgrounds.
  • The wildlife viewing area is wheelchair accessible.
  • CAUTION: Watch for rattlesnakes.