The Amazing, Stupendous Balancing Rock & It’s Park

Before we get to the Balanced Rock, I’d like to share something I forgot in last weeks post. It’s a tradition that goes back to 1929 in the small town of Arco, ID. Every year, the graduating high school class climbs this mountain to paint gigantic numbers of their graduation year on the side of the mountain. They call it the “Numbered Mountain” or “Graduation Mountain”.DSC09220

Imagine your 18 again & getting ready to graduate. You and all your buddies get to go climb the side of this mountain and paint your graduation year for all to see. You don’t get in trouble, you’re not deemed a vandal. In fact, the town expects it of you. How cool is that!DSC09222

The numbers go as far back as ’29 and wrap around the corner of the mountain range. The numbers must be HUGE to be able to see them from the main streets where I took these pics.DSC09221

This is probably the only time city kids are envious of small town country kids.

So I’m driving thru Buhl, ID a couple weeks ago, & drive past this small little brown sign the read “Balanced Rock 18 Miles –>” & thought… What the heck? Then I remembered talking to my friend Tyson the last time he was out this way & he had mentioned a balanced rock as well. And since there are very few places left for me to see before Tyson gets to them, I decided to go check it out. I’m glad I did.Picture 001

So with the help of the posted signs & my NAV, I started out to see what this rock was all about & why it was so special. After all, it’s just a rock, right? Driving south of Buhl there is plenty of sprawling farms & pasture land. Then it abruptly goes rock canyon on you. Picture 002

There was a small turn off to a park, but I blew right by it. I wanted to see this rock. Although I did have to stop for a couple of pictures. The canyon walls were to spectacular not too. Picture 003About another mile down the road on the right, there it was, bold as you please. Sitting there for all to see. The Balanced Rock…Picture 006There is a sign across the street that has some info about the rock on it…Picture 005I was expecting to have to drive thru some park or something to see it. But no. There’s even trails up the side of the range to walk up for a better view. So I grabbed my camera & broke a sweat. The odd shape, especially being top heavy like it is, & the fact that it’s sitting on such a small pedestal really is quite amazing considering the extreme winds this area gets on a fairly regular basis.  But this day was hot and I was really hoping for some kind of wind about half way up. I took several pics of different angles so you get an idea of the overall shape of this thing.Picture 016 Picture 019 Picture 022 Picture 020It doesn’t seem like such a long way up. It only took about 15 minutes to walk up to the top. But looking back down, you can see that it’s quite an elevation change. This angle you see just how narrow the pedestal is.Picture 021Picture 026 Picture 022This rock will eventually fall from it’s perch. Whether it be a week from now, or a hundred years. It will be a sad day & I’m glad I had the opportunity to see it. Is it just me? Or does this rock look like the top half of a giant dinosaur skull? Picture 027

Backtracking just a mile to check out the Balanced Rock Park I couldn’t help but stop and get another canyon picture. Picture 031

Picture 033Turning into the small park & pass the sign led you into a picturesque setting of a small canyon lined by impressive rock walls. With a creek running along your left side, this small park had an immediate serene & calming effect.  Picture 034

The further into the park you go, the trees thin a little and the canyon walls come clearly into view.

Picture 035

With tall rock walls to the right…

Picture 062

& a creek to the left. It’s no wonder I came across a few people just wandering around with cameras. The creek I found mesmerizing. It was full of 3 – 4 ft long water plants that moved in tandem to the flow of the surface water. A double motion of sorts. It was a bit hypnotizing… Picture 040The creek was also loaded with fish. How many can you spot?Picture 056

As far back as you can go in a car, there are a couple picnic areas & some unusual items. For starters, there was what looked like (to me anyways) this home made wedding arbor. I consulted the princess for the correct term for this structure, & she said arbor. So for anybody reading, & they know this is actually something else, well… it’s the princesses fault. But whatever it is, it was both out of place & looked like it belonged there all at once. Picture 048

Behind the very last picnic area, were these huge flat rocks. They are so flat in areas, that they look almost manufactured. Like shards of some giant broken pottery.Picture 047Picture 057Behind these bizarre rocks and the out of place arbor, is a trail that follows the creek back. I only followed it back for about 100ft due to time constraints, but it offered some nice views. Picture 054Picture 053

Heading back to where I parked the TSX wraps up the Balanced Rock Park. But I love the pictures of the TSX I was able to get at this place. So I’ll conclude with them…Picture 058 Picture 060 Picture 043 Picture 046

As always, thanks for stopping by, be safe & go put some miles on that thing!DSC00379


About clymerdude

A Property Damage Appraiser in the State of Idaho.
This entry was posted in Scenic Attractions, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Amazing, Stupendous Balancing Rock & It’s Park

  1. Carlos says:

    I like the sixth picture from the top showing the left side of the TSX. It looks like you were either kneeling or had the camera close to the ground.

    And wow. That balanced rock is something else. I love that you parked the TSX way down there to get it in the shots.

    • clymerdude says:

      I was trying something new with the camera this time around. So yes, I had the camera close to the ground in a lot of these shots. the last pics in this post I actually had the side of the camera resting on the ground to get all the rock wall in the shot.

  2. tysonhugie says:

    This is awesome. Yes, that’s the balanced rock I had read about online and wanted to visit. Very sweet pics. Dang, that hike is a pretty steep elevation gain. Did you feel the urge to step over to the rock and give it a push? (In the direction opposite where the TSX was parked, of course). Also, Graduation Mountain is kind of an interesting concept! I was looking for my grad year (2000) but couldn’t find it on there! That creek in Balanced Rock Park is chock full of fish.

    • clymerdude says:

      Funny, The urge I actually had was to stay there to make sure no one else tried pushing on it. I know it’s just a rock, but it was pretty cool. Your grad year is 2nd pic down, uper left by the tree. Happy hunting…

  3. Donna says:

    Josh, this is great getting to see all the unique things you experience on the road in the TSX. Both the grad mountain and the balancing rock were really amazing. The TSX also looks great next to the canyon wall. Keep up the good work. When I retire, can I come along sometimes?

  4. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your
    blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later on. All
    the best

  5. Layla says:

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