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Balancing Rock Trail

A scenic overlook trail, switchbacking up to expansive views of the Creston Valley. This short hike is part of the Creston Mountain Trail Network and can be extended for a bigger adventure!

Trailhead: West Creston Road
Distance, round trip: 3.6km
Elevation: +222m
Season: mid-April to early November
Difficulty: Easy

Trailhead and Driving Directions

From Highway 3, turn onto West Creston Road (signed for the Creston Valley Wildlife Area) and quickly reach the signed trailhead in a pullout on the right.

Register on the first switchback up the trail

Up the Switchbacks

The trail starts angling along the slope back towards Highway 3, and then begins switchbacking. You’ll be treated to views of the valley below as you ascend – watch for clouds of birds swirling over the marshes at the Creston Valley Wildlife Area.

The trail meets a hydro-line and continues switchbacking below. With the wires above and the highway traffic below, it’s not exactly a pristine wilderness experience.

Reach a scenic bench beneath a pine tree at 1.1km. This is a great destination if you don’t want to go all the way to the end of the trail. The views are excellent here – look down over the fields and marshes of the Creston Valley, with the town far in the distance!

Scenic bench

The Balancing Rock

Continuing up the trail, leave the views behind and ascend through open forest to find the ‘Balancing Rock’ at 1.3km. It’s a massive erratic boulder, perched on the bedrock.

The Balancing Rock

Continuing On?

Follow the trail as it crests the top of the hill and then descends into deeper forest, eventually dropping into a swampy jungle that looks like it belongs in prehistoric times. Follow the overgrown boardwalk to find a 3-way junction. That’s the official end of the Balancing Rock Trail! If you want to continue on, you have two options:

  1. Continue up the Mount Creston Trail to an even higher viewpoint over the valley. It’s 4.3km round-trip and +400m gained from the junction.
  2. Descend on the Fern Forest Trail down to Highway 3. It’s 1.8km and -180m elevation down from the junction.

Otherwise, retrace your steps and head back down the Balancing Rock Trail.

Heading back down
Panorama on the trail

Creston Valley Trails Society

The Creston Valley Trails Society maintains the Mount Creston Trails. If you’ve enjoyed the hike, consider becoming a member, making a donation, or volunteering with them.

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4 years ago

The ‘swampy jungle’ is definitely worth the extra distance to check out past the big rock. The skunk cabbage abounds!