Arches National Park is known for, well, arches. However, there are other things to see besides arches in the park. One of the those things would be Balanced Rock. It is right off the main road, and you can’t miss it. To do the entire loop hike only takes 15-20 minutes at most. I have found the children really enjoy running around the paved loop trail. The Balanced Rock, while it may look small in pictures, is actually quite large. It is definitely worth a short stop.
Balanced Rock Hike Details
Distance – 0.3 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time – 10 to 30 minutes
Elevation at trailhead – 5160 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – well-maintained
Amount of water recommended- 1 to 2 liters, there is no shade
Bathrooms – Yes, located near the parking area
Seasons to hike – All year around
How to get there:
Arches National Park is located five miles north of Moab, Utah, along US-191. Upon entering the park, rangers will give you a map. Follow the park road 9.2 miles where you will see signs for Balanced Rock. Chances are that you will see Balanced Rock before you see the sign. Turn right in the parking area.
Hitting the Trail!
It’s common for the parking lot of Balanced Rock to be full, but luckily cars come and go every few minutes. This is a short hike that can be done in minutes. It is very easy and child-friendly. The best time to photograph Balanced Rock is around sunset to bring out the rich reds in the rock. The paved trail is 0.3 miles round trip. The trail gives the hiker different perspectives of the precariously perched stone.
Balanced Rock used to have a little brother that resembled it, called Chip Off The Old Block. Sadly, it tumbled in the Winter of 1975/1976. After visiting Balanced Rock, I recommend taking a right on the road just past Balanced Rock and visiting the Windows Section of Arches National Park as your next stop.