Hike the Balanced Rock Trail at Devil's Lake

Details

Distance

1 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Jon Mattrisch

Steep cliffs. Massive boulders. Gorgeous scenery. Experience it all on the Balanced Rock Trail at stunning Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin. 

Devil's Lake is one of Wisconsin's most visited and most beautiful state parks, offering many trails, activities, gorgeous scenery and more. There are various trails to explore in the park, including the East Bluff Trail and the Potholes & CCC Trail Loop, as well as camping that's offered.

The Balanced Rock Trail, however, is exhilarating, breathtaking, strenuous and a bit nerve-wracking when compared to the rest of the park. If that's what you're looking for, then step up to the challenge and begin your ascent.

The trail is named after a rock that seemingly balances near the top of the trail, on the side of the cliff that overlooks the lake. The trail begins at the bottom of the cliff, next to an abandoned railroad track that lines the lakefront. To get here, you can head down S. Lake Rd. where you'll find a parking lot near the lake.

A narrow path that's only marked by wooden posts every few hundred meters directs you up alongside the cliffs, towards the top of the bluff. Irregular steps have been fashioned out of boulders and rocks to help you ascend the trail. Be careful, though, as these steps are spaced unevenly and can be slippery.

Because of the narrowness of the trail, it can get crowded, especially during peak weekend hours. Continue slowly up the steep bluff side and make sure to take in the gorgeous views of the lake below.

Once at the top of the bluff, you'll be rewarded with one of Wisconsin's most beautiful views. From here, you can continue on to the East Bluff trail if you wish, or head back down the Balanced Rock trail. Whatever you choose, you're bound to have an incredible journey. 

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Know for

Rock Climbing
Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic

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🥇Top Contributor

7 months ago

Love Devil's Lake

Devil's Lake is one of the best (but also most crowded) state parks in WI. The views on this hike are wonderful, but like I said before, the park and this hike are crowded. Wear good shoes. Soak in the views! Insanely beautiful in the fall. Once I did the hike with a friend who had a medium sized dog and sometimes the dog had to be lifted because of the large rocks.

Short And Rugged

Another feat trail at starved rock. I didn't get the photo opportunities that I was hoping but I also didn't have great hike. I suggest taking Starved rock up and Pothole trail down.

Heart Pumping!

Wear sure footed shoes for this vertical hike.

372 total saves

5.0/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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