Rough 4x4 drive, easy hike
Overview: Totally awesome views of the Green and Colorado Rivers Confluence without the 10+ mile hike.
Warning: The drive to get to the Confluence Trailhead from the Elephant Canyon Trailhead will definitely require a high clearance, very capable 4x4. The Park Service calls it one of the most technical 4x4 roads in Utah, including steep grades, loose rock, stair-step drops, tight turns and backing.
Drive: If anything, this hike is probably more about the drive than the short 1-mile round-trip stroll at the end. Leaving Elephant Canyon TH the first thing you do is scale Elephant Hill. In the past, this used to be THE toughest part of the drive, so once you got into the one-way loop, no obstacle would be worse than you already encountered.
However... at present (Oct '13) this is no longer the case. For whatever reason the Park Service hauled gravel in and filled the lower 1/3 of the hill so even a 2WD car could go that far. While there is no gravel on the upper 2/3, over the years enough concrete has been added that a stock 4x4 can easily climb it.
Unfortunately, at this time I cannot speak for the rest of the drive because on this trip I did not have my very capable Cherokee along so I can only relate it from other sources. Suffice to say, if you aren't experienced at driving very rough terrain, stick with the 10+ mile Confluence Overlook Trail.
Hike: This short hike truly provides a ton of bang (awesome scenery) for the buck (effort). Rather than a hike, this is more of a half-mile stroll up a small hill, down the other side to the confluence overlook, take plenty of photos and explore a bit, then up and over the small hill again.
Water Sources: None
Check out the Official Route.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.