Balanced Rock Revisited: Is it Still Overrated?
Every state across the country has its unique landmarks and tourist attractions that the locals know about and brag about. Sometimes they are worth the trip and make for great memories, stories, and pictures, while other times they are a waste of money, gas, and time. The only way to truly know is to visit them yourself and find out. They became a tourist attraction for one reason or another and while someone may love it you may not, just as someone may hate it and you may love it. One well-known tourist attraction in the area is Balanced Rock, and a few months back I wrote that it was overrated. I have recently revisited and would like to update my stance on the infamous rock.
What to Know About Balanced Rock in Castleford, Idaho
A few months ago my family and I drove out to Balanced Rock, located about half an hour west of Twin Falls, and found it to be a little underwhelming and potentially overrated as a tourist attraction. This last weekend, my family drove back out to it, and gave it a second chance. This time we decided to make the hike up to it and see if we still felt the same way. The hike only takes five to fifteen minutes depending on your physical ability and pace. The hike back down can be a little tricky due to loose rocks and sand. Overall the hike isn't bad, or very tough. I would rank it a three on a scale of one to ten, with the only difficult spot being near the top with some big steps needed to get up on some rocks.
Hiking Up to Balanced Rock
Once you reach the top, the view is spectacular. You can see for miles in any direction and the rock is extraordinary to see up close. You can continue to hike up and around the area as well, as there is a good amount of space to continue to hike and explore. You can spend an hour or two exploring, or twenty minutes seeing the rock and go back down. The choice is yours. If you are like me and a tad out of shape, some great rocks make for sitting in the shade, depending on what time of day you decide to hike. There is no phone service so do not hike alone, or make sure to be extra cautious if you do.
After many people recommended I give it another chance, I have come to a new conclusion. If you drive to Balanced Rock to see it, it is overrated, but if you are willing to hike up to it and put in the effort, it is worth the drive and should be visited. The views and the rock shape up close, are the payoff, but it is not worth driving by and seeing from down below. The stream and picnic area down the road and across the street is a nice place to enjoy lunch or even some light fishing for small children. My son enjoys that more than the rock. Balanced Rock is worth the visit, but only to those that are willing to put in the time and effort, otherwise, spend your time elsewhere.