Balanced Rock In Idaho: An Unbelievably Simple Travel Guide

Post Summary: How To Get To Balanced Rock In Southern Idaho + Photo Tips

Ready to discover one of Idaho’s most beautiful and hidden gems?

Perched high amidst the striking landscape of southern Idaho, near Twin Falls, lies the fascinating spectacle that is Balanced Rock.

This impressive natural wonder leaves both hikers and adventurers in awe, as its precarious appearance challenges the very laws of gravity.

Today, we’re here to be your guide to reaching this thrilling destination and discovering all the incredible photo opportunities that Balanced Rock has to offer!

Emily Mandagie standing at Balanced Rock in Idaho

How To Reach the Mysterious Balanced Rock in Idaho

History of Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock is believed to have been carved out by the elements over millions of years. Wind and weather especially!

It’s part of a rhyolite lava formation that was created over 15 million years ago and over a series of multiple volcanic eruptions. Want to see more evidence of this type of rock? You can find it in Jarbridge Canyon and Bruneau Canyon!

Want more? Check out these other cool rocks at Craters of the Moon National Monument!

Best Time To Visit Balanced Rock - Sunset

What Makes Balanced Rock So Special?

Balanced Rock is a stunning landscape that seemingly defies gravity. It really does look like it’s balancing on a tiny base! Balanced Rock weighs over 40 tons and is over 48 feet tall. The smallest part of the base is just 3 feet by 17 inches!

It won’t last forever, so seeing it in person feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Balanced Rock in Idaho will eventually crumble to the ground because…erosion. Don’t waste time! There are so many fun things to do in Southern Idaho, that it’s definitely worth planning a visit ASAP.

Sunset in Southern Idaho

Best Time To Visit Balanced Rock

Personally, we think the best time to visit Balanced Rock is in the evening. More specifically, during golden hour or right during sunset!

This is because you can see right along the horizon from the top of the ridge. The sun is in a great position to capture the sky in the background, with the iconic rock in the foreground!

Timing is everything for photography. Just like a visit to Tea Kettle Cave, just north of Balanced Rock!

What To Bring To Your Evening Adventure

Warm Layers: Idaho can have some pretty dramatic temperature changes when the sun goes down! Make sure to dress warmly, especially when visiting in the off-season (fall, winter, spring)

Windbreaker: It can get windy up there too! Pack a windbreaker (and even a hair tie too) to keep the breeze at bay.

Hiking Shoes with traction: The trail to the top is short but fairly steep. Once at the top, expect to do some light climbing. It helps if you have hiking boots with extra grip to keep you stable!

Camera: This area is stunning, especially for landscape photography. Check out our travel photography gear list for what we bring on trail adventures, or even tips on how to shoot landscapes with your smartphone!

Headlamp: After sunset, it’s important to have light for the hike back down to your car. We’ve used this Biolite one for years, and this Black Diamond one is consistently good too!

Parking Lot at Balanced Rock in Idaho

Directions To Balanced Rock (Driving and Hiking Directions)

Getting here is actually very easy and straightforward. We’re including driving directions from Twin Falls below, as well as hiking directions.

Driving Directions From Twin Falls to Balanced Rock:

  • From town, go south on S Shoshone St S (ID Route 74 S)
  • After 1.6 miles, turn right onto Balanced Rock Road
  • Follow the road for 25 miles
  • After crossing Salmon Falls Creek, look for the parking lot on your right.
Balanced Rock Idaho - Hiking Directions

Hiking Directions from the parking lot:

While looking online, I couldn’t find exact hiking stats for the trail to Balanced Rock. However, Here’ are’s a screenshot of some trails marked on AllTrails.

From the parking lot, Balanced Rock is pretty much straight ahead of you! Find an existing path, and simply start hiking up the bluff. It can be steep in some places, so make sure to take a break if necessary!

Camping Near Balanced Rock Idaho
Note: This location is NOT the campsite nearby, but it does give you a good idea of the dry, arid landscape you’ll be experiencing!

Camping Near Balanced Rock

The closest place to camp is Balanced Rock Campground in Castleford, Idaho. Bonus – it’s less than a 5 minute drive away!

Located along the Salmon Falls Creek Canyon, this campground has free spots for tents and RVs. Here, there is fishing opportunities and hiking along Salmon Falls Creek Canyon.

Note: Campsites are available, but there are no RV hookups. Spots are first-come-first-serve, but the picnic pavilion is available for rent!

Things To Do in Twin Falls, Idaho

Other Things To Do In Idaho (Nearby Twin Falls)

What else is there to do near Balanced Rock? Here are some of our favorite day trips from Twin Falls, Idaho:

Tea Kettle Cave: Tea Kettle Cave is located just north of Twin Falls. Climb down into the “spout” of the cave and emerge to view a circle of anient ferns growing right in the middle. Come during the peak of the day (10am-2pm) for the best sun rays!

Waterfall tour in Twin Falls: Take yourself on a self-guided tour of waterfalls in Twin Falls!

Soaking in hot springs: There are so many lesser-known Idaho hot springs in Southern Idaho! Worswick Hot Springs and Skillern Hot Springs are worth the drive if you want a natural in-nature kind of soak.

Take a Drive: There are so many dreamy Idaho scenic byways to explore here. Try starting with the City of Rocks Scenic Byway!

Things To Do in Twin Falls: There are so many things to see and experience WITHIN the city itself! From the cute downtown to the Canyon Rim Trail, spend a day exploring what the town has to offer.

Have you visited Balanced Rock near Twin Falls, Idaho? Tell us all about your experience there in the comments below!