Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock is one of the most popular sights in Arches National Park. It is, as the name suggests, a large rock balanced atop a high rock spire. The total height of the entire formation is close to 130 feet; the balanced rock at the top is 55 feet high and the equivalent length of three school buses. It weighs more than 3,500 tons. Unlike Delicate Arch, which requires a challenging trek to access, you can see this remarkable rock formation from the main road in the park. There is also a loop trail allowing you to walk completely around it. This walk is a quarter mile in length and is an easy stroll, which also makes this one of the most accessible attractions in the park. The formation is located along Park Avenue, 9.2 miles from the park entrance. There was once another balanced rock next to this one. It was called “Chip Off the Old Block,” and fell during the winter of 1975-76.

You can find balancing rocks in many parts of the world. There is a striking balanced rock formation called “Mother and Child” in Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe. In England’s North Yorkshire, you will find the rock pedestal formations called Brimham Rocks. There are many in North America, from Nova Scotia in Canada and Chimney Rock State Park in North Carolina to Washington State. However, the majority of these formations are found in the arid American Southwest, where the wind, rain, and sands create distinctive patterns of erosion. There are similar formations around the world that are called hoodoos, which are tall spires of variable width (often described as like a totem pole) that rise up from deserts and badlands. In addition to the formations in Arches, you can see an amazing number in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

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