Elephant Butte (Sierra County, New Mexico)

Elephant Butte is a summit now located in the Elephant Butte Reservoir and within the Elephant Butte Lake State Park in Sierra County, New Mexico. It has an elevation of 4,639 feet (1,414 m).[1] It was named for its shape, said to look like an elephant.[2]

Originally a tall butte along the east bank of the Rio Grande, Elephant Butte became an island in Elephant Butte Reservoir upon completion of the Elephant Butte Dam. Recent lowering of the level of the reservoir has made it a peninsula. A nearly complete 3-million-year-old stegomastodon fossil was discovered at Elephant Butte by campers on June 9, 2014.[3]


  1. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Elephant Butte
  2. Julyan, Robert Hixson (1 January 1996). The Place Names of New Mexico. UNM Press. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-8263-1689-9.
  3. New Mexico bachelor party finds 3-million-year-old stegomastodon fossil, Fox News, June 13, 2014 from foxnews.com, accessed December 27, 2016

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