Added by Brayden Weeks

A great place to go see a sky full of stars in Southern Idaho. Easy hike, great views, and fantastic place for night photography.

Southern Idaho offers a lot of unique places to go photograph, but not all places have as good of a spot for astrophotography as Balanced Rock State Park does. Because this spot is quite a ways out from the towns, you don't have a lot of light pollution which allows you to see all of the stars in the sky.

Balanced Rock itself is a unique formation which gives the photo an interesting subject, whether you have the rock lit up or just silhoutted. One Way I would recommend on photographing Balanced Rock to make it more interesting, is using a light to light the rock up. That can be achieved by using a flashlight, headlight, or even attachable lights on a drone (just be responsible). Another great way to make your photos interesting is by adding a human element to give scale and also to help the viewers relate to the image. 

When taking photos at night, you always want to be prepared for your time there. I would recommend arriving there right before sunset so you have time to hike up and set up. You want to make sure you get the shots you have envisioned, and that is hard to do if you are trying to set up in the dark.  You also want safety of yourself and your gear to be your number one priority. Getting there early will help you be safe.  Aside from getting there early, I also recommend you bring these things to help you get your shots and stay safe:

- Camera

- Fast, wide angle lens (f/2.8 or smaller)

- Tripod

- Remote Shutter Release

- Headlamp and or flashlight 

- Cell Phone

- Water

- Hiking Boots

- A sweater or coat if it might be chilly

- Bug spray if its bug season.

Ideally, if you can bring someone with you, that makes it all the more fun and safer. But if not, make sure to tell someone where you are since there is no service out in that area. 

In conclusion, Balanced Rock State Park is a fantastic place to go take astro photos. Whether you are starting out and want to learn, or are a professional looking for a new and unique place, Balanced Rock is a great place to go. 

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


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