Balanced Rock, Arches National Park Trip Report
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November 24, 2005
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John is an avid hiker, spending a goodly portion of his time up in the hills, or sitting in front of a computer. Either way, most of what finds his eye is green, or blue, - organic, or lcd. John likes this website, hopes you do too, and invites you to write a review of a couple hikes you've done!
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There are photographers, and then there is me. When I am not at work, and sometimes even while there am thinking about photography and the outdoors. Representing it Wasatch style, yo!
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Trail Notes: Balanced Rock isn't really much of a hike - more of a roadside attraction. That said, I would certainly stop to check it out. Pictures of Balanced Rock are best taken in the late afternoon near sunset. We were here about 10 minutes before sunset which make the shades of red in the sandstone all that much more vibrant.
Balanced rock sits on top of a pedestal 53 feet from the base. Balanced rock is roughly 100 feet wide and 100 feet tall. From below balanced rock there are nice views looking to both the north and west.
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Reviewed By: Anonymous on Monday, September 5, 2011 @ 08:03:02 AM
Review: Great hike actually, not easy but anticipating some awesome veiws we kept on, only to throw in the towel and turn back just alittle past Eunice Lake due to bombardment of mosquitos. That was extremely disappointing. No amount of repelant seemed to work, they were in our eyes, noses, hair, they really did defeat us. Next year we'll try a little earlier in the season and hopefully we'll avoid mosquito season (we hiked Sept. 4th). It's a beautiful hike with some gorgeious views. I'd rate it 3 1/2 on the strenuous scale.
Camp Muir - Great but not for the unprepared
Reviewed By: Anonymous on Saturday, March 27, 2010 @ 09:41:42 AM
I was invited last minute on a "quick day hike" to Rainier's Camp Muir with a group of guys from our church. I have hiked Mt. Si, Twin Falls, and the usual day hkkes that have some adventure in them, so I felt like this would be "doable" - and lest I give anyone the wrong idea, in the end it was "doable" - however it was a TON more effort and endurance than I imagined. For completeness, I am 34, in average shape, run a few miles a week, hit the gym..well, maybe once a week, and eat fairly well. We left from Snoqualmie at 7AM March 20, 2010 and reached Paradise Ranger station at 9AM. The idea was to carry Ski's or snowboards on our backs, hike up, and ski down. For those curious we carried our ski boots locked in our bindings (as if the ski's and pack weren't enough weight). Luckily I had purchased a pair of decent hiking boots (Asolo from REI) as I would say they were barely enough. They were great for the first 2.5 miles until the snow pack was harder and we kept hitting inclines that called for kicking your toes in. There were 11 of us hiking (9 guys, 2 girls), with two guys and one girl being very experienced hikers/climbers - one on his way to completing the 7 summits. Thankfully they were of tremendous help since about 1.5 miles in these guys came and grabbed some extra weight from a few of us 'slackers" and took our ski boots to carry for us. It was a great clear day for hiking, otherwise I can see how one could eaily get lost in the expansive views, peaks, snow, etc. there were several inclines that I would call "severe" although no Ice axe is really needed for the most part as long as you have hiking poles. Many of us had ski poles and a few had nothing. After what seemed like all day (it was really about 4 hours in), I finally had Camp Muir in sight. It was exciting, but I did not realize that at that altitude, and at my slow speed it was still about an hour away. It was probably 1000 feet ahead, but still, I was exhausted, in need of breaks frequently, and moving at a snail's pace. It was really a new degree of atience that I had never tapped into. Even as I approached the camp within 25 feet, I was stopping for breaks and making one slow step after the next. The last 25 feet took about 15 minutes. Once at the top when I could shed my pack and skis, I quickly crawled into the brick building to get out of the 50 mph wind that had quickly whipped up. Inside, it was quiet and calm and a great break from that exhausting climb. After about 20 minutes of rest, since the rest of my group had ben there for at least 45 minutes already, we crawled out, clicked into skis, and began the trek down. In the end it was 5 hours up and 1.5 hours down on skis.
- Its harder than you think (in snow - perhaps its easier in summer)
- If you don't use gators, your socks will get wet and that is aweful
- Bring some sort of pole or ice axe if you have no hiking poles
- It can get cold fast. We were sweating one second and then stopped for a protein bar - it got freezing within 2 minutes and was hard to warm up
- Bring lots of water of course
- Bring many protein bars, peanut butter sandwhiches, etc
- I run a 5k with decent elevation gain in about 29 minutes and this was still very hard
- Bring lots of layers
- Sunscreen (even up your nose because the snow reflects the sun) is important
- Sunglasses that cover all around your eyes are important
- Plan for an ALL day deal - we got back to Snoqualmie at 9PM
Reviewed By: Nick98982 on Sunday, March 2, 2008 @ 05:56:53 PM
2008 02-23 was a bad time of year to visit the Ice Caves. While I didn't make it all teh way to the top, I've been told that they are most likely not formed at this time of year anyway. As other reviewers have mentioned, the main bridge is out. (visitors told me it had been out for what they though was 2 years) But with the bridge out, that means that you are missing almost the entire hike. Half the hike for me was hiking on the main road up to the picnic area. The main road is closed about 1.5 miles down the road because the snow plow trucks didn't plow. Also, this time of year that was a lot of snow and you are ill-prepared if you aren't brining snow shoes. You'll be falling about a foot deep in snow every few steps, especially by the picnic area where the sun heats up the surface.
I ended up falling in the river trying to help me dog out after she fell in to the river herself. Since I was wet, I decided to just walk across. There were no foot prints to guide us and you couldn't tell where the trail led, so it was a waste of time. You can watch a video here of what the snow looks like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SST9sx9dZZc
The best time for this hike is spring - early summer when the ice caves form. It seems to be more popular for snow mobilers this time of year and the folks that just want to get out and walk in the snow.
Reviewed By: mehughes on Monday, July 3, 2006 @ 09:15:43 AM
My husband and I did this hike in May of 2005 - it was short but sweet. Arches National Park is something to behold and I'm aching to get back there.
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