On our last day in Big Bend National Park, we debated whether to do another hike or just head straight to Austin. On one hand, we didn’t come all the way to west Texas just for one hike; on the other, we couldn’t bear the thought of hiking anything more than 4 miles after the 12-miler.
So, we compromised by finding an easy 2-mile hike to Balanced Rock and back. I feel like every national park has a balanced rock.
Big Bend’s version of a balanced rock is tucked in Grapevine Hills, 6 miles down an unpaved gravel road, which was a lot of fun to drive down in his truck. The dust kicked up beneath the tires, leaving a sky-high trail behind us.
The Balanced Rock Trail is not strenuous at all; most of it is actually more of a walk than a hike! As the truck disappeared into the distance behind us, I became more and more impressed at how truly remote this national park is. It offers that untouched quality that you hope for when you think of protected lands—a quality that is unfortunately not commonly found.
After about 3/4 of a mile, the flat part of the walk is over. Now, you have to start scrambling over giant rocks, following the red rusty signs as you make your way to the top. This part was definitely a lot of fun.
So was having a little bit of photo fun once we reached the rock…
Before, I went to Visitor Center to purchase my standard sticker for my water bottle where I also caved and bought a sweatshirt and an iron-on patch—who knew when I would be back?
However, after the two trails I’ve hiked and the long drives we took throughout the park, I’ve decided that I wouldn’t let too much time pass before returning once again to Big Bend. It’s too beautiful a place and too unexplored for me to not return before the masses realize what a gem this is!
Have you ever considered going to Big Bend?