Visiting Balanced Rock Park – Idaho

Balanced Rock Park contains a picturesque canyon and unique rock formations that seemingly pop up out of nowhere in the plains of southern Idaho. This part of the state is full of little gems, and we were lucky to come across this one as we made our way from Boise back home to Montana. If you’re looking for a cool roadside attraction or a pretty place to camp or picnic, Balanced Rock Park is a great place to stop.

Sitting up near Balanced Rock
Sitting up near Balanced Rock

Getting to Balanced Rock Park

Balanced Rock Park sits about a 35-minute drive from the heart of Twin Falls. From Twin Falls, head west on Balanced Rock Road. You’ll leave the farmlands and soon enter a small canyon area. If coming from Twin Falls, you’ll reach the turnoff for the campground first to the left off Balanced Rock Road.

A very short ways past the campground is the parking area for the Balanced Rock Trail off to the right. You can see Balanced rock from the road and parking area.

Looking down at the parking lot from the trail
Looking down at the parking lot from the trail to the rock

Fees & Regulations

There are no fees to camp or hike at Balanced Rock Park. There is a large pavilion that can be reserved for an extra fee. Learn more here.

Pets are permitted – just take note of the otters in the canyon. Always check fire restrictions for the region you plan to camp in if you want to have a campfire.

Hiking to Balanced Rock

Just above the road is the massive rock that gives Balanced Rock Park its name. The elements have carved away areas of the rock, leaving a large portion that is almost 50 feet tall balancing precariously on the cliffside. The weathered section that has been carved away over time is only about 3 feet wide, making you wonder how this large chunk is still standing and how much longer it will remain.

From the parking area near the start of the trail, the hike up to the rock is only a few hundred feet. It is a bit steep and rocky, but it is a fairly quick climb to reach the top. You can also walk to it from the campground, adding just over a half-mile (one way) from the campground entrance to the parking area below the rock. It should only take around an extra 30-40 minutes of walking roundtrip.

Balanced Rock Park is definitely a cool roadside attraction
Balanced Rock Park is definitely a cool roadside attraction

We packed up camp and drove up to Balanced Rock after a night at the nearby campground to make the quick walk to the rock before heading for Twin Falls. There was a couple admiring the rock from the lot when we arrived, but we had the top to ourselves. While the views around the rock aren’t anything too mind blowing, the rock itself is a neat formation. We also enjoyed scrambling around Balanced Rock on the rocky cliff surrounding it.

Overall, this is a quick and unique roadside attraction worth the stop if you’re in the area!

Camping at Balanced Rock Park

We didn’t expect to find such a pretty area to camp at as we drove through the plains and farmland of southern Idaho. We also tend to avoid campgrounds and prefer dispersed camping, but we really did enjoy our night here!

A pretty view from our camp spot in the Balanced Rock Campground
A pretty view from our camp spot in the Balanced Rock Campground

The Balanced Rock Park Campground consists of about 11 sites set along a small river with pretty cliffs jutting up on either side. The spots have picnic tables (some covered) and fire rings. There are nice grassy areas along the water to relax on. Just don’t set up your tent on the lawn if you don’t want to get hit by the sprinklers! Supposedly these run Monday through Thursday nights, though they didn’t go off when we were there in the spring. This does kind of make it hard to find an ideal spot if you have a tent as you may have to set up on the gravel road/parking spaces.

We were there in mid-March and it was still pretty cold, so there were only two other groups camping and we were all spread out. Otherwise, we have heard this is quite the popular spot. Minus the pavilion, the sites cannot be reserved ahead of time, so we recommend arriving early if you want to secure a spot.

Our campsite
Our campsite

There is a single vault toilet near the entrance and some trash cans around. There are no other amenities or campground staff, so bring your own firewood and other supplies. The campground also doesn’t have RV hookups.

The night we camped, we saw so many otters and heard owls all through the night. It’s quite the picturesque spot, especially when the sunset glow hits the cliffs above.  You can fish and put in kayaks in this canyon right from the campground.

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