Balanced Rock Trail is a simple hiking trail that circles an unbelievable, 3,600-ton behemoth of a rock balanced perfectly on a narrow spire. Balanced Rock is one of the many icons of Arches National Park that you have to see to believe.
As one of the easiest hikes in Arches National Park, it’s an excellent option for a quick stop. See it today before the rock finally succumbs to nature’s grasp and topples over.
Balanced Rock isn't hard to miss. You can see this gravity-defying feature right from the main road in and out of Arches National Park. Look for the parking lot pullout on the right side of the road as you make your way into the park.
Keep in mind, this is one of the most popular spots in Arches, so be sure to come by early in the morning or later in the evening in order to snag a parking spot (parking along the road is not allowed).
The Balanced Rock Trail is a quick 0.3-mile loop that’s focused around this strange and surreal rock formation. The trail is simple and straight forward, making it an ideal choice for an easy hike or those with small children.
The rock, which sits precariously atop a thin sandstone spire, looks as if it may fall at any moment. Bring your camera as this hike features a stunning backdrop of the La Sal Mountains, perfect for snapping that amazing photo.
Soak it all in, because one day the top of the formation will crumble and the landscape will be forever altered.
So to call Balanced Rock “a rock” is a bit of a misnomer. The rock and spire are actually one piece of sandstone. Throughout the millennia, wind, dust, and rain have slowly eroded the weaker rock layers below the impressive Balanced Rock.
The result is a sandstone formation that appears to have a rock balanced on top of it when in reality it is a prime example of how different rock layers erode at different rates.
Eventually, the weaker layers will no longer be able to support the Balanced Rock on top of the formation, and the spire will crumble. All that will be left are the photos from the formation and a pile of sandstone on the ground.
One of my absolute favorite sunset spots in Moab is Balanced Rock. There’s something unique about watching the sky erupt into colors with this awesome-looking rock formation as a backdrop.
As you watch the setting sun, don’t forget to look southeast, where you’ll catch a beautiful scene of the mighty La Sal Mountains. Contrasting with the reds of Balanced Rock, the purples of the snow-capped La Sal Mountains make for a lovely spot to say goodbye to another day in Arches National Park.
Pro Tip: Balanced Rock also makes for an incredible night photography hot spot. Stay for sunset and take those crystal clear photos of the incredible desert night sky with Balanced Rock in the background.
Balanced Rock is a must-stop on any Arches National Park itinerary. Its easy access (you can see the entire thing in just 30-minutes) means it won’t eat into your day, but you’ll be able to truly experience the awe and wonder of this fantastic landscape.