One of Arches National Park’s most iconic formations is Balanced Rock. Perched precariously atop a mudstone monolith is a 3600 ton perfectly balanced rock…or so it seems. In reality, the rocks are attached.
Balanced Rock can be seen from a distance when driving the park’s main road. The parking lot also offers an outstanding view. So, it might be tempting to just pause, snap a photo, and skip the trail. Don’t.
Here are 5 reasons why it is worth your time to get out of the car and take the hike:
- The Trail is Short and Flat: There aren’t many excuses that hold water for not hiking this trail. At only .33 mile with very minimal elevation gain, it is suitable for the whole family. It doesn’t take much of your vacation time to enjoy this wonder.
- It’s All About Perspective: Many photos of Balanced Rock are from the same angle. Yet, it has a distinctive and unique shape. To appreciate this feature of Balanced Rock, you must walk around it on the trail.
- Appreciate the Scale: Balanced Rock is big… really big! It is proported to be the size of 3 school buses… although I suspect that this is an approximation. Walking around this well-known balancing act helps you better appreciate its uniqueness.
- Stop and Smell the Roses: While there are no actual roses, there are plenty of plants to enjoy. And while I wouldn’t suggest getting close enough to a cactus to smell it, I do recommend stopping to observe the many creatures which call this small section of the park home.
- It Might Be Your Last Chance: Not to be overly dramatic, but someday it will fall. Like all of the formations in Arches National Park, over time the forces of nature change the landscape. This means that Balanced Rock will eventually come crashing down.
Balanced Rock is just one of the many special things that makes Arches National Park a great place to visit. The best way to enjoy this natural wonder is slow down and appreciate this spectacular sight!
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