Arches National Park
Balanced Rock Trail

Balanced Rock

Balanced rock can be seen from many miles away, an odd upside comma on the horizon that catches the eye. It can be seen from as far away as Highway 191 near the entrance to the Islands in the Sky district of Canyonlands, as well as from many places in the park.

I've hiked the short Balanced Rock Trail several times, and there is always a sense of disbelief that I am finally so close to the shape that I have been seeing from so many different places. Luckily, it looks as good close up as it does from every other distance, and this quick hike won't disappoint.

From the park entrance station, drive 9.1 miles to the Balanced Rock Trail parking lot. The entrance to the lot will be on your right.
Coordinates for the hike: 38.7019150,-109.5661990
Parking / Trailhead amenities
The parking lot for Balanced Rock trail is paved and is just off the main park road. There is room for about 15 cars and a couple of RV's. The trail exits directly from the lot.
Trail observations
The paved trail leads directly away from the parking lot and gives good views of Balanced Rock from three sides, as well as stunning views of the La Sal Mountains and all of the wild geography of the surrounding terrain. There is an unpaved side trail that goes around Balanced Rock and connects with the paved trail near the parking lot.
There is a map board at the start of the trail.
Trail statistics
The trail is 0.37 miles long. The sum of all the uphill climbs is 24 feet.
Trail waypoints
0.00 miTrailheadMap board, parking lot
0.06 miTrailhead viewBalanced Rock from the trailhead
0.09 miOdd rockInteresting rock formation
0.11 miSide viewBalanced rock from the side
0.17 miDistant archLooking towards the parade of elephants
0.17 miGiant ColumnGiant column off in the distance
0.19 miBack viewBalanced Rock from the back
0.19 miStepsSteps along side trail
0.20 miCliff viewCliff view from trail
0.37 miEnd of trailEnd of trail
Trail map - Balanced Rock Trail
Altitude chart - Balanced Rock Trail End of trail
Difficulty: Easy
Terrain : Flat
Trail surface: Dirt
Trail surface: Paved
View: Open
County: Grand
State: Utah
Country: United States of America
National Park Service - Arches National Park
Printable trail map in PDF format (9 Mb download)
Printable trail map in PNG format (1 Mb download)
Waypoints in CSV format
Waypoints in KML format
Instructions on using a trail description page
Instructions on using a trail map printout
Trails in the surrounding area
Area map for Colorado and Utah (4 additional trails)
Area map for Colorado and Utah (4 additional trails)
Area map for Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah (4 additional trails)