Balanced Rock Arches

This quarter-mile loop circles one of Arches’ most prominent landmarks. Balanced Rock is a defiant 55-foot tall block of Estrada Sandstone that rests on a narrow stand of Dewey Bridge Rock. As you approach Balanced Rock from the south, the impressive pillar looks like a ball resting on an old milk bottle. That shape changes as you tour around Balanced Rock, but no matter how you look at it, the rock’s ability to stay put is impressive.

Balanced Rock Arches
Balanced Rock

The short hike around Balanced Rock only takes a few minutes, and it is equally enjoyable in both directions. Stone steps have been built in over the minimal changes in elevation, and the trail is wide and well maintained. In time, this sandstone capstone will fall from its mudstone pedestal. Until then, Balanced Rock will draw the attention and imagination of everyone who visits Arches National Park. There is a nice view of Balanced Rock from the parking lot, but the short trek is worth taking as the profile of the rock shifts dramatically from different angles.

To get to the trailhead: From the visitor center, drive 9.2 miles up Park Avenue to the pullout for Balanced Rock. You will see Balanced Rock coming from miles away.

Trailhead address: Arches Entrance Road (Park Avenue), Arches National Park, Moab, UT 84532
Trailhead coordinates: 38.701759, -109.56605 (38° 42′ 06.33″N 109° 33′ 57.78″W)

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Photos

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These photos were taken in June of 2010. Click to enlarge.
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Distance: 0.25 miles – Elevation change: 50 feet

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