Last year we were lucky enough to be able to visit Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park for a few days. It was so much fun and I really enjoyed spending time with my family while we were exploring and taking in all of these beautiful natural wonders. There are so many things to share with you, but we are starting with Balanced Rock. It was a favorite stop – honestly pretty much every stop was a favorite – and it is so cool and BIG! Balanced Rock can be seen from several different locations throughout the park, so we made it a game to see if we could see it each time we stopped or while we were driving.
Balanced Rock Arches National Park Utah
Arches National Park is located by Moab, Utah. Canyonlands is also close – making Moab a great place to get a hotel or camp. We went on the off-peak season – which I can’t stress enough – because the crowds were not as big, and the weather wasn’t over 100 degrees, and you could actually get a hotel room for under $70 a night!
Balanced Rock, one of the most iconic features in the park, stands a staggering 128 feet (39m) tall. While this formation may appear to be an epic balancing act, it’s actually not balanced at all. The slick rock boulder of Entrada Sandstone sits attached to its eroding pedestal of Dewey Bridge mudstone. The exposure of these two rock strata layers are ideal for the formation of arches and balanced rocks.
Balanced Rock defies gravity but this won’t always be the case. Eventually, the 3,600 ton (over 4 million kg) boulder will come tumbling down as the erosional process continues to shape the landscape. In the winter of 1975-76, Balanced Rock’s smaller sibling “Chip-Off-the-Old-Block” collapsed (view Then and Now), proving that there is no better time than the present to see this awe-inspiring giant.
You can learn more about Balanced Rock at Arches National Park on the NPS website here.
We are going to be sharing all of our adventures from Arches National Park over the coming weeks – so be sure to check back so you can learn more about Park Avenue, Cove Arch, Double Arch, North and South Windows, Delicate Arch, Fiery Furnace, Sand Dune Arch, Broken Arch and Devil’s Garden.
If you have any questions – ask away – and we will do our best to answer! Happy Trails!