Balanced Rock, Chautauqua Mountain Loop [CLOSED]

MODERATE 18 reviews
#91 of 173 trails in

Balanced Rock, Chautauqua Mountain Loop [CLOSED] is a 5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Palmer Lake, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until September.

DISTANCE
5.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,581 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

closed

hiking
17 days ago

As of two weeks ago the lake side of the loop was closed. There are signs at the beginning that note that. We trekked on and took the advice of others and went up the steep portion first. Not easy to find so definitely download the map and have it open and hunt for the river and a low point to cross. If you follow the easily marked trail at the beginning you are on the wrong path. Once headed up, it’s definitely nearly straight up for about 1.5 miles. I’d recommend trekking poles for support. Up you can manage without them, down they are nearly a must have. It’s a good workout on the way up. Towards the top there are lots of large “balanced” rocks you can climb on. We decided to chance it and kept going down the lake side hoping it wasn’t closed to hikers but just cars. Saw a few campers and evidences of rock slides they have been repairing. Eventually you get to a locked gate when that portion is closed. Was able to go around the side (steep and some barbed wire but passable) and get back to the beginning where we parked. Definitely enjoyed the loop more than an out and back. Hopefully it’s open now after repairs have been firmed up.

hiking
1 month ago

We didn't make it all the way around - also couldn't find the left (southern) fork at the beginning! It was very steel for about 1.5 miles, the kids were dying (I blame video games.) But we found some great rocks to jump on and will go back for a second attempt.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked the whole loop this morning with my daughters 7 & 4 and we are occasional hikers. Just so that others know that hiking with kids is fine. We started on the right side of the loop, which is a gentle ascend to the summit. The descend is steep but still doable, I have seen worse than this. Although I believe starting from the left side of the loop would be better so that you do the steep section first and I think ascending the steep section would be easier than descending the same. The whole trail is well shaded and you won’t need to put on sunscreen. For the first timers: the left side of the loop might not be recognizable but basically just go left as soon as you enter the trailhead and look for some trail. Fun part: we weren’t able to spot the balanced rock! may be we were having a lot of fun with our group!

hiking
2 months ago

Great 5 mile loop. Short side of Chautauqua Mountain is extremely steep. I would recommend climbing the steep side first and descending balanced rock and Palmer reservoir side. The best views come from the mountains after Chautauqua.

hiking
3 months ago

So here’s the deal... this a good hike without kids. Views are amazing. Wildflowers are stunning. The last 1.5-2 miles down is KILLER. Narrow trail with slick gravel. Stop at the lake with kids and backtrack out.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

recorded Chautauqua Mountain

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
8 months ago