Balanced Rock OHV Road

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Pike National Forest

Balanced Rock OHV Road is a 15.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Woodland Park, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for ohv/off road driving and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 15.2 miles Elevation Gain: 2,293 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

ohv / off road driving

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
15 days ago

We did this one on Mother’s Day. Perfect day, no snow and the trail was in great shape. Lost of places to pull of to rest or camp. Cool little hike to the lake at the end of the trail. I passed two other vehicles on the trail, so not too bad. But, there were a ton of people at the lake just relaxing. I’m guessing they hiked up to the lake from the other side because I didn’t see many vehicles around.

24 days ago

Awesome trail. Went out Saturday in the Impreza wagon with no issues. camped and the balancing rock.

hiking
off trail
27 days ago

Went today and was amazing. No mud or snow. 2 keeps and an f150 made it no problem. The only challenge is the last quarter mike before you get to lake but not as bad as it looked.

ohv/off road driving
1 month ago

Snowy/Slushy in some spots, but no issue with my Power Wagon. Only saw 1 other rig after ~1/4 mile in. Very nice little trail/road. Wouldn't recommend for anything w/o 4wd, but high clearance not strictly required. As others have mentioned though probably makes sense to bring some recovery gear just in case.

ohv/off road driving
icy
muddy
snow
washed out
1 month ago

So the trail is a fun ride and relatively easy until the last leg when it gets a little tight and downhill right before the Palmer park reservoir. There is still a lot of snow and mud and going downhill may be a breeze, going up IS NOT. My brother and I, in our full size modded f-150s, did the trail with ease and were soon at the reservoir (which is a cool place btw). Coming back up, it’s the most difficult part, NO JOKE. There is a hill at a switch back that is COVERED in snow and mud and my truck got stuck. No matter how fast of speed I got before hill or how much wiggling I did, my truck would not bug and it actually got close the edge, so I stopped my efforts. My brother and I had to call a Freds Towing to come get us which took them a long time to find us due to the 1 bar of service. We did not have a winch, just two straps. So if you do not have RESCUE GEAR, DO NOT GO DOWN THE LAST PART when there is still snow, mud, and ice. When you come up, you’ll be fucked if you’re not prepared, I’m dead serious. We are somewhat new to off-roading but we were stuck for a very long time (5+ hours) till help came. Don’t make the same mistake lol. 2016 F150 Sport XLT 33”s FOX level and full suspension kit

ohv/off road driving
muddy
snow
washed out
1 month ago

The fact that this ends at a lake makes it a really cool trail, HOWEVER. If you come here anytime outside of the height of summer HAVE A WINCH AND BRING RECOVERY GEAR. The trail is pretty much guaranteed to have lots of snow everywhere which makes the trail way harder than it actually it is. I went 12 days ago with a couple of buddies in a stock Rav 4 and everything went great until we had to come back up and like everyone else we got stuck at that icy switchback. If you want to see a video of the trail and switch back everyone is talking about in this trails review section then check out this video I made about the trail https://youtu.be/3hqCojdRVA8. It's a sweet fairly easy trail that absolutely sucks when there is snow on it and you don't have proper recovery gear.

ohv/off road driving
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
6 months ago

Today 11/5 some friends and I went on this trail. it's nice. a good challenge. snowy and icy definitely did not have as much traction. would not go on with a fresh layer of snow. the last like half mile before the resevoir is the most challenging and will take some time and need a good line THERE IS A HUGE MUD RUT JUST AS YOU APPROACH PALMER RESEVOIR. GO AROUND IT BY ALL MEANS. WAS STUCK FOR 2 HOURS UNTIL MY BUDDY YANKED ME OUT WITH HIS WINCH. all in all good trail

ohv/off road driving
icy
muddy
snow
washed out
6 months ago

Our first mistake was going in snow (November). Took our 4” lifted JKU Sport and stock JLUR. The JK did well until switchback going down. Had to winch out. JL surprisingly made it down. Coming back up though, JL bottomed out and didn’t make it back up the switchback. Majority of trail isn’t horrible until the end right by the lake. Fun trail, but HAVE TO COME PREPARED-especially during winter. Snow made it about 10x harder than it actually is.

ohv/off road driving
10 months ago

Great trail for standard 4x4. I have a stock Lexus GX470 and it handles this trail with ease. I love the fact that you end at the Palmer Reservoir, it’s beautiful!

ohv/off road driving
11 months ago

The main trail is a very enjoyable drive with some areas that require some thought. Low clearance vehicles may have a tough time. This trail ends at a lake and we will be back with fishing poles. Several spurs and technical challenges for those who are so inclined. 2013 JKU Rubicon 35s 2” lift

ohv/off road driving
rocky
Sun May 19 2019

Trail had a lot to offer. Public land shooting opportunities, off roading, beautiful views, wildlife, camping opportunities, the small lake and beaver dam at the end of the trail, tons of off trail hiking possibilities as well. I recommend 4x4 capability for the last 1 mile. Fun for family, but caution to those sound sensitivities like dogs as people will likely be shooting while out on the trails.

ohv/off road driving
Sun May 12 2019

High recommend this trail to any 4x4 with a lift. This trail had a perfect tempo in terrain and obstacle negotiation. Fun part is in the last 1 mile or so before Palmer lake. Note, the trail at bottom splits literally into the lake or to a lock gate blocking you from getting to the i25 through Palmer Lake. You have to go back the way you came. 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road 2.5” lift, Toyo open country c/t, 40 psi

Mon Sep 03 2018

I did this trail for the second time, it was fun and I enjoy the scenery around the lake at the bottom. Somebody did come and flatten the mounds right at the end just a little bit, my vehicle didn’t even hesitate. 2003 Toyota 4Runner 1” leveling kit 265/70/R17 35 PSI

ohv/off road driving
Sat Sep 01 2018

This a nice easy drive that is mostly forested with a few Aspen groves, large granite boulders and just a few views. There are several good picnic/camping spots. Balanced Rock is a hundred yards from a left turn off at 6.5 miles. If the road is dry, most of this could be done with a high clearance 2 wheel drive and an experienced driver. The last 1.3 miles (beyond Balanced Rock) does get steep and rutted and 4WD is highly recommended and probably required to get back out. At 7.7 miles there is a gate and at 7.8 miles the road ends at a beaver pond just above the upper of two reservoirs just upstream of Palmer Lake. 1999 Jeep Cherokee, stock saggy suspension, 29" tires.

ohv/off road driving
Thu Aug 02 2018

Fun drive, I brought the kids along and explored the lake. It got very sticky at the end for a short time, definitely worth more than an easy rating. My stock 03 4Runner balanced on 2 wheels and rubbed the ground a couple times.

ohv/off road driving
Fri Dec 01 2017

this is a fun trail that goes downhill almost the whole time that anyone can do 90% of. be aware this is an out-and-back so make sure anything you go down you'll be able to go up. right near the end there are a few wedges and mogul/hole combos that'll get many vehicles to max flex. the main one is a set of 3 or 4 that i lifted a tire on each one. i just stayed in the gas and basically bumped 3 in a row traction/loss of/traction/loss of/etc. the trail ends at a lake in a valley but there are many cool campsites along the way. if you'd like to see a video of the run (starting from the lake and going back up for fun-sake) i have one up at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1XVSIiGHFs&t=5s 07 ranger manual bilsteins 13psi 33" no lift no locker no sway bar youtube trail channel: b roll offroad have fun!

ohv/off road driving
Sun Oct 15 2017

Did this in a stock 2011 Rav4 awd no issues. It was a little concerning that coming back is more difficult than going in. good trail and lightly trafficked.

ohv/off road driving
Sun May 28 2017

Beautiful drive. Nothing difficult for a Rubicon . Too bad people leave cans, bottles, targets, shotgun shells and trash all over. Have fun and respect the beauty.

ohv/off road driving
Sun Nov 06 2016

Fun trail. Gets really difficult at the very end. Had to turn around. Overall my Jeep Liberty Limited drove pretty smooth. Good trail for beginners like myself.

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