RATING: Roadside Attraction / Short Hike
LENGTH: Less than 1 hour
MAPS: THE WINDOWS SECTION, UT;
Balanced Rock is one of the iconic symbols of Arches National Park. It sits right next to the park road and is impossible not to visit if you are driving through the park.
The iconic tower sits 128 ft tall and is composed of Entrada Sandstone top sitting on a Dewey Bridge Formation pedestal. The different erosion rates of the two types of sandstone are what created Balanced Rock and what will ultimately be its demise. As the base continues to weather, the rock will ultimately tumble.
It is interesting to note that until the winter of 1975/76, there was an additional small tower to the south of Balanced Rock called “Chip-Off-the-Old-Block”. The freeze/melt cycles caused the demise of Balanced Rocks smaller neighbor that winter. Will Balanced Rock stay balanced for a year? A hundred years? A thousand years? Time will tell.
Evening light is astounding on the rock, and the best time to visit. It makes a great way to end a day visiting the park.
|Tue Hi:86 Lo:70||Wed Hi:91 Lo:68||Thu Hi:93 Lo:69||Fri Hi:96 Lo:70||Sat Hi:98 Lo:70|
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From the visitors center, follow the main park road 8.9 miles. Balanced Rock and the pullout are on the right.
Many simply visit the parking area, take a few pictures, and move on. I would recommend taking the few minutes to hike the short (0.3 mile) trail that circles Balanced Rock to see it from all angles.
Note: There is a picnic area just across the road from the Balanced Rock turn out down the gravel road about 0.1 miles. It contains several picnic tables, a shade cover, and a vault toilet and makes a great lunch spot with nice views of Balanced Rock.
12S 624688mE 4284653mN
N38° 42' 06" W109° 33' 58"
12S 624427mE 4284762mN
N38° 42' 10" W109° 34' 09"