Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Balancing Rock Nature Trail in Bliss State Park at Lake Tahoe


The Balancing Rock Nature Trail, a half-mile loop trail, is located in D. L. Bliss State Park at Lake Tahoe in California. While driving north on Highway 89 from Emerald Bay to Tahoe City, you'll pass by along Bliss SP before getting to Rubicon Bay, but probably will not see the Balancing Rock from the highway, although it is very close by. However, the hiking trail inside the park, named after this natural rock sculpture, loops around the weathering granite structure. In fact, the overlying rock is not balancing, it is fixed to the underlying granite. As the erosion process continues, the upper rock will “loose its balance” at some point in the future, maybe during a Tahoe Area earthquake, and will fall downhill. Following the loop trail downward into the small creek, you are able to see the place, where the rock and its split-offs might come to rest. The loop trail offers various views of the rock from above and below and from all different angles. There are also views of Lake Tahoe and Rubicon Peak. The biosphere of the trail includes pine trees, manzanitas and ferns.

Getting there
From Highway 89 enter the D.L. Bliss State Park at the Visitor Center and drive to the camp ground in the north part of the park until you arrive at a signpost directing you to the trailhead. The trailhead parking lot is also used as an overflow parking area for the camp ground. If you are staying at the camp ground, you may consider walking or biking to the trailhead.

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