Grapevine Hills Hike (Balanced Rock)

If you want to see the Balanced Rock, you need to go all the way to the end of the trail. But it's a pretty hike even if you don't manage that.

Part of the adventure with this trail is getting to the trailhead. It’s about 45 minutes each way — about 6.5 miles — on a dirt road. The park describes it as an “improved” dirt road but it was still a slow and careful drive with our all-wheel-drive vehicle. There are a couple of campsites along the way where you could turn around if needed. We could have done it (more) carefully in a regular car. There’s no restroom at the end.

It’s easy walking through a scenic canyon until the last quarter mile.

That last quarter mile was all uphill and lots of rock scrambling requiring balance and shoes with good grip. Choose your own adventure. I came down part of the way on my butt.

You must do the rock climb to see the balanced rock; it’s on the other side of the ridge. I originally wasn’t going to try the last stretch but I did and I survived.

There are beautiful rock features in the canyon; prettier than I expected. I thought it would be a boring hike except for the rock at the end.