Balanced Rock Road
El Paso County, Colorado
Pike National Forest
Pikes Peak Ranger District
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map
Forest Service Road: 322
Trail Type: Out and Back
Nearby Towns: Monument
Nearby Trails: Rampart Range Road, Winding Stairs Road, Mount Herman Road
Season: April through November
Trail Length: 7.48 miles
Elevation: 7,795 to 9,426 feet
This trail combines the great scenery in the Rampart Range area with some fun challenges, making it a great all-around trail. It starts on Rampart Range Road and decends down to the edges of the Upper Palmer Reservoir where the scenery changes. It is marked as Forest Service Road 322.
The top portion of the trail is fairly easy until you start descending. Then the cracks in the trail can make for some challenging sections. SUVs may have troubles here, but most 4x4 vehicles should be fine all the way to the bottom.
Earlier in the trail you will see a spur (322A) that used to connect to Mount Herman Road. It is closed now, with a large gate and sign. Continue past it, and not too far after it is the Balanced Rock that gives the trail its name, to the left of the trail. There are other rocks along the trail that look like "balanced rocks" but this is the true balanced rock.
The trail starts descending in the trees, though there are some drop-offs at some places at the side of the trail. There is also a sharp switchback that may require some backing up.
Once you get to the bottom, the trail levels out as you pass through a meadow. You soon get to a crossroads. You can see that going straight ahead ends at a gate. If you turn left here you travel for just a bit more until you get to a large campsite and another gate. These two gates mark the end of the trail. You must go out the way you came in.
Note that though there is an illegal trail going around the gate that this is not a trail to be used by anyone. The gate is there for a reason. Do not continue along the trail.
Information last updated on March 4th, 2017.
- March 4th, 2017: ran by Matt K., Mike S., Roger and Walt
- April 23rd, 2016: ran by Matt K., Roger and Walt
- January 29th, 2012: ran by Chris, Gary, Matt K. and Walt
- January 2nd, 2010: ran by Bill S., Matt K., Terry and Tim
- October 24th, 2009: ran by Bill S., Bob S., Jeffrey, Mike S., Roger, Ryan S. and Walt
- August 4th, 2007: ran by Bill S., Dane, Dave B., Don, Ladd, Monica, Steve B., Todd and Walt
From Denver, take I-25 to exit 187 and Happy Canyon Road and Highway 85. Just before the town of Sedalia, turn south on Highway 67. Follow this to the turn for Rampart Range Road on the left. If you get to the town of Moonridge you've gone too far. Take Rampart Range Road 31 miles south to the trailhead.
Meet at the Happy Canyon Road exit 187 off of I-25.