Balanced Rock Road

Monument, Colorado (ElPaso County)

Last Updated: 02/15/2020
4.2 / 5 ( 19 reviews )
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Nearby Trails
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 7.97 miles
Highest Elevation: 9351 feet
Duration: About 1 hour, 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Monument
Nearest Town w/ Services: Monument
Official Road Name: 322
Management Agency: Pike National Forest
District: Pikes Peak Ranger District


Highlight: Balanced Rock Road
This is a fun off-road trail that's close to Colorado Springs and easily accessible to those in Denver and other points along the front range. Trails within the Rampart Range can provide a challenge to vehicles that are a little more than stock yet still offers some fun routes for more built rigs. The Mount Herman Road (FS 320) drive up to the trail gives you great views of Monument and Black Forest. The southern section of the Rampart Range is notable for unique rock formations consisting of large boulder piles and valleys filled with rock outcroppings, dense forests and fine gravel soil. Open during all seasons (except rare closures for excessive precipitation), the Rampart Range portion of Pike National Forest offers year-round 4x4 adventure!


Route Information

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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trailhead is on the east side of Rampart Range Road (FS 300), approximately one mile north of the Mount Herman Road (FS 320) intersection with Rampart Range Road. It is marked with a brown US Forest Service sign.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Denver

From Denver, take I-25 to exit 187 and Happy Canyon Road and Highway 85. Just before the town of Sedalia, turn south on Highway 67. Follow this to the turn for Rampart Range Road on the left. If you get to the town of Moonridge you've gone too far. Take Rampart Range Road 31 miles south to the trailhead. Alternatively, drive to Monument on Interstate 25 and take Exit 161, Monument and Palmer Lake. Turn west towards the mountains. Beyond the traffic signals, the road becomes 2nd Street. Proceed slowly on 2nd Street (20 MPH speed limit) for approximately one mile and cross the railroad tracks. Turn left on Mitchell Road, travel south for approximately one mile where you see Dirty Woman Park on your left. Make a right turn on Mount Herman Road (FS 320) and proceed 11.5 miles up the mountain to the intersection of Rampart Range Road (FS 300). At this intersection, turn right (north) and travel approximately one mile. The Balanced Rock trailhead is on your right.



Land Use Issues

This area is part of Pike-San Isabel National Forest, and as such is part of the 2011 Lawsuit where a coalition of conservation and recreation groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service over what they say is the illegal addition of 500 miles of motorized roads and trails. A settlement was reached in late 2015 which requires the U.S. Forest Service to re-evaluate the roads and create a new travel management plan. Over the next year, 30 roads will be partially or completely closed while this evaluation proceeds over the next 5 years. It is imperative that the OHV community voices their interests on this issue. If we do nothing, those 500 miles will be shutdown. Contact the local ranger districts and let them know why the area is important to you.

Trail Reviews (30)

Questions & Answers (9)

Q: Hi! I have a 2017 3.6r Subaru Outback with a 2" lift, all-terrain tires, and newer to off-roading. I am curious if my Subi will be able to make WP 10 without too many issues? Thanks!
–Cam C. (01/23/2021)
–Tracy Barker (01/27/2021)
Q: Getting ready to head this way in a week or so and we are bringing the kayaks. Do you know if the reservoir at the end allows kayaking?
–Christina Cline (07/06/2020)
–Tracy Barker (07/13/2020)
–Tracy Barker (07/13/2020)
Q: AllTrails says no dogs allowed on the trail to the lake. Is it okay to camp near the lake with a dog from the Balanced Rock Road way via off road vehicle? Is the dog restriction just something they’re doing to keep irresponsible dog owners from taking them on a day hike?
–Josh (05/19/2019)
–Tracy Barker (05/22/2019)
–J Ranello (05/21/2019)
–Ryan Boudreau (05/20/2019)
Q: What do you consider "low clearance"? I drive a stock Cherokee Trailhawk. Should I worry about the last section?
–Casey Froke (01/07/2019)
–Tracy Barker (01/08/2019)
Q: How long does the trail take? I noticed it says 1 hour 30 minutes, is that one way or there and back? Thanks!
–Luke (10/22/2018)
–Tracy Barker (10/23/2018)
Q: How long of a drive is it from Denver to the start of this trail... looking to run this trail last weekend in april? thanks!
–Joseph (04/12/2018)
–Tracy Barker (04/13/2018)
Q: Has anyone been up this trail recently? I'm wondering if it snow packed or still clear. Thanks for any input.
–Kevin mckinney (11/21/2017)
–Gregg Macaluso (12/23/2018)
–Tracy Barker (11/23/2017)
Q: Hello all! I have a stock 2000 Nissan Xterra and am just starting to get into wheeling. I am curious if my X will be able to make WP 10 without too much stress. Thanks!
–Zach g (06/22/2017)
–Tracy Barker (06/23/2017)
Q: Anyone know if UTV's ATV's can ride here??
–Derick Avery (03/31/2017)
–Tracy Barker (03/31/2017)

Writer Information

Tracy Barker

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Tracy is an outdoor enthusiast originally from north Alabama. His family moved to central Utah when Tracy was a child, and subsequently to southern Utah, where he fell in love with the Rocky Mountains. His favorite activities are family trail rides and camping with small groups. He started many years ago in his dad's F-150 pickup truck, and subsequently his own 4x4 acquisition, a 1975 Ford Bronco (in 1991).
For individual use only, not to be shared.