THING TO DO

Hike Balanced Rock

a balanced rock with the moon rising in the distance
The moon rises above Balanced Rock and the La Sal Mountains in the background.

NPS/Kait Thomas

a paved sidewalk stretches toward a massive boulder atop a rock pedestal
Part of the Balanced Rock trail is paved.

NPS/Chris Wonderly

Balanced Rock, one of the most iconic features in the park, stands 128 feet (39 m) tall. You can see it from many parts of the park. The rock is one of the popular stopping points for people driving the park road. You can stop to enjoy the easy 0.3-mile hike (0.5 km) around the rock’s base for unusual and up-close perspectives. Notice how the shape and size of Balanced Rock seems to change with every step.

The beginning of the trail is paved and easy for people using wheelchairs. There is a large viewpoint at the end of the paved trail with a spectacular view of The Windows Section and La Sal Mountains in the distance. The trail continues over rocky slopes around the back of Balanced Rock. Rangers build small rock piles (cairns) to mark the trail. Follow these, and please don't build your own.

The parking lot is small, and it may be crowded during the day. If there is no parking available, simply come back at another time. Read more about traffic and travel tips.

Sunrise and sunset are less busy times, and at sunset, Balanced Rock becomes saturated in a deep red-orange making it a great place to end your day at Arches National Park.

Protect your park. Protect yourself.

Protect fragile biological soil crust by hiking only on established trails, bare rock, or in sandy washes (where water flows when it rains).

Practice safe hiking. Avoid hiking in midday summer heat. Carry and drink water and eat salty snacks during your hike. Read more about staying safe.

Details
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Balanced Rock is 9.2 miles (14.8 km) from the park entrance.

In summer, we recommend hiking early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the hot temperatures. Always carry and drink water when hiking.

In winter, snow or icy conditions may make this trail treacherous. Use caution. We recommend traction devices in winter.

Accessibility Information
The beginning of the Balanced Rock trail is paved, flat, and fully accessible for people with disabilities. There is a viewpoint at the end of the pavement where you can see The Windows Section and the La Sal Mountians in the distance.

Beyond the pavement, the trail continues around the back of Balanced Rock. This trail beyond is uneven, rocky, and not accessible for people using wheelchairs.

Pets are not allowed on this trail, but service animals are welcome.

Last updated: August 11, 2017