Not Just Ordinary Rocks

Red Rock at Sunrise

Balanced Rock in Arches National Park ©2008 Bo Mackison

While Arches National Park in northeastern Utah is best known for its hundreds of red rock arches, many rock formations are almost equally as famous. Balanced Rock is one of the more well known, as it is easily seen from the main road in the park.

The uppermost part of Balanced Rock, a strong type of rock called Slick Rock sandstone, rests on a less stable rock known as Dewey Bridge mudstone. Since the mudstone erodes faster than the Slick Rock, top-heavy formations occur with some frequency. Eventually the weaker pedestals will wear away and Balanced Rock will collapse.

At dusk, the red hues of the rock are intensified, and it is quite impossible to drive past the rocks and not stop for a photograph. I would imagine anyone who has ever visited Arches has a photograph similar to this one.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. I never imagined them to be such deep reds. The sun setting low makes a neat color.

  2. great photo

  3. What a gorgeous earth…

    tag…you are it:)

  4. Fantastic colors and light. These formations are truly amazing.

  5. Another beautiful photograph… well done.

  6. You sure make the best of the light in these shots. This looks breath-taking.

  7. Beautiful light Bo !!

  8. Are there people on one of those rocks? Neat shot.

  9. You’re killing me. This is gorgeous. I wish I were there.

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