Balanced Rock

#2 in Best Things To Do in Arches National Park
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Balanced Rock2 of 3
Robert Loe/Getty Images

Key Info

Arches Scenic Drive

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Hiking, Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.6scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 2.5Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

This iconic, 128-foot boulder, precariously perched on top of a thin pedestal of rock, is one of the park's top sights. Though it seems like it might fall over, the rock is actually attached to its eroding pedestal of Dewey Bridge mudstone.

Balanced Rock can be seen from the road, but many recent travelers suggested parking and taking the short trail (less than half a mile) to the rock's base. A stop here is especially popular with photographers, who suggest a sunset visit, when the setting sun gives the rocks a deep, red-orange cast.

Balanced Rock is located less than 10 miles north of the park entrance. There is a picnic area across from it along a gravel road, which also has a covered canopy and vault toilet. Access to Balanced Rock is included in park admission. Visit the NPS website for more information.

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More Best Things To Do in Arches National Park

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Landscape Arch

Located in the Devils Garden area, Landscape Arch is North America's longest arch, stretching an amazing 306 feet. To view the arch, you can take an easy, flat 50-minute hike from the Devils Garden trailhead to the arch.

Recent visitors described the hike as "easy" and definitely worth the trek, though they warned the trail can get crowded. They also recommended hiking past the Landscape Arch to the Double O and Partition arches if you have the time and stamina. Both sights are located beyond Landscape Arch and the trails to each are rated moderate to difficult by the NPS.

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(c) Swapan Jha/Getty Images
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