One of Arches National Park’s most prominent landmarks is Balanced Rock – a 3,600 ton boulder perched on a narrow pedestal towering at 128 feet (39 m) tall. This roadside icon is easily seen while driving past but a quick stop and stroll around the base gives the viewer vastly different perspectives of the mammoth rock. Leave your hiking pack in the car in favor of grabbing your camera bag and tripod. This is a great place to get some fantastic self portraits.

Balanced Rock is made of two different rock formations. The rock itself is Entrada Sandstone, the primary arch-building material in the park. The pedestal it sits on is part of the Carmel Formation, which erodes more easily, explaining why nature has allowed Balanced Rock to remain disproportionately large compared to its increasingly smaller base.

Near Balanced Rock there is an intersection with a primitive (4×4 only) dirt road that can be used to exit the park. Ask your guide about leaving the park this way if a 30 minute off-road adventure through the raw landscape and a stop at dinosaur tracks intrigues you.

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