Day Trip to Balanced Rock from Hagerman

Balanced Rock stands as a monument to the awe-inspiring power of geological forces. The hill beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts to explore its precarious perch and rocky landscape. If you’re visiting Hagerman, a quick trip to Balanced Rock is a must see and do.

The Trek

From the hotel it is a little over 45 minute drive south along the Scenic Thousand Springs Hwy and then into the backcountry of Buhl. The first leg of the journey along Thousand Springs Scenic Hwy runs along the Snake River and shows off Owlsey Bridge, Ritter island, Minnie Miller Falls & Lemmon Falls. Extra stops could include the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, Owsley boat ramp & docks as well as 1,000 Spring Resort for a better view of the falls. Once past those, the route will take you past fields and backcountry. Enjoy fresh air and wide open skies.

Arriving at Balanced Rock

The best and sometimes surprising fact about Balanced Rock is its proximity to the road. Once visitors arrive, the parking lot stares straight up at the bouldering mass. Balanced Rock is flanked by other rock formations and the hillside is fairly steep. There are several paths that lead up to the base. For the best view and to see the true magnificence of this earth sculpture we highly recommend getting up close and personal. This area is open to the elements and can be very hot in the summer and be wide open to wind.

There are lots of fun and creative ways to take photos of Balanced Rock. Our favorite is one taken a long time ago with two gentlemen gamblers on top of the rock with table, cards & chairs. It shows the fun and charming attitude early explorers had in the area. Always testing their way around Southern Idaho’s canyons and mysterious formations. We’d love to see what you come up with!

Hikers will want to scramble further up the rocks for different views and other cool rock formations. Glimpses of wildlife can be seen, from soaring hawks to scurrying lizards. visitors will typically be greeted by the whistle or chirp of Rock Chucks communicating and defending their homes. They love the rocky sides of mountains and canyons.

Nearby is a small canyon and creek with lush vegetation. It is a popular spot for fishing and day use. It is a very special oasis away from the harsher desert climate. It is a great spot for a picnic lunch and to lounge under the trees. There is a short trail at the very south of the park. It is quite beautiful and winds along the creek.

Further East – Buhl & Castleford

For those who wish to continue on to discover the great town of Buhl, they will find an awesome downtown with maker shops and antiquing spots. There are a couple of tasty restaurants, coffee spots and an amazing winery AND cidery. If you’re lucky enough to be here for the Fourth of July, Buhl puts on the best parade & event this side of Twin Falls. Known as the Trout capital of the world, there are icy blue pools, waterfalls and excellent fishing abound.

Winding Back to Hagerman

As your trip draws to a close, bid farewell to Balanced Rock and Buhl’s backcountry beauty. It’s an easy drive back to Hagermanon HWY 30. Set the cruise and take a trip back in time. The Oregon Trail and the pioneers shared this route a long time ago. Plan your next day trip to Three Island Crossing to learn more about the families and ranchers that traversed this area. It was a daring journey and crossing Snake River was one of the top obstacles on their way.

Whether you’ve seen Balanced Rock once or a million times, the journey promises an unforgettable experience. So pack your lunch bags, hit the road, and prepare to be amazed by one of nature’s greatest masterpieces.

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Hagerman Valley Inn