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Balanced Rock

Location : Arches National Park, Utah

Total distance : .6 miles round-trip (out and back)

Net elevation gain : 15 ft

Peak elevation : 5,048 ft

Tree Cover : No tree cover. Sunscreen highly recommended.

Parking : Parking area near the trailhead.

Trailhead : Click here(

Landmark : Hike starts near the parking at the trailhead

Satellite map :                

Click on the image for an interactive map


Terrain map :                

Click on the image for an interactive map

Hollywood sign hike topo map

This 128 ft high rock consists of a 55 ft sandstone boulder that precariously sits on the top earning it the name Balanced Rock and continues to awe the visitors from near and far. If a 3,500 ton boulder is installed on a 73 ft tall tower by humans it would be considered an engineering marvel. This is an even more impressive natural marvel that is formed due to erosion.

With time the faster eroding rock that supports the boulder gives in causing the collapse of this marvel. But until then we get to enjoy this and respect the forces of nature. The hike starts at the parking lot, click on the link for maps : .

It is a short hike that is 0.3 miles each way to get to the rock. Before sunset would be a good time to checkout this rock allowing you the opportunity to stay back for stargazing once it gets darker. Make sure to carry a flashlight and dress appropriately for the season.

The same elements of nature that form all the arches in this Arches National Park also give us this Balanced Rock. Its less than 10 miles from the park entrance making it a good starting point or the last hike for the day before you head out. As you walk around this rock on the 0.3 mile hike it looks different from different angles so get as many glimpses of it as you can get.

Help protect the delicate vegetation that play an important role in maintaining the ecology by staying on designated trails. Trails here aren't always paved so it might be confusing to understand which way to go, just follow the cairns built by the park rangers. What are cairns you ask?

Cairns are a pile of stones that are meant to mark a place or a path, see the picture. Look for these markers on this hike and others in Arches National park and let them guide you. Some times random cairns are built by visitors so use caution while following them. I hope you visit this place and get inspired. Stay safe, happy hiking!

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