Balancing Rock


The ride along the Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway that straddles a mountain and several counties (Calaveras & Alpine), features winding roads surrounded by beautiful forests, 180-degree vistas, alpine meadows and unique features such as a balancing rock.

Drive beyond the Big Trees State Park on State Route 4 in Calaveras Countyy  and head east past Arnold and Camp Connell. Before you reach Bear Valley Ski Resort you'll see the balancing rock perched on a mountain top overlooking a breath-taking vista of the Sierra Mountains and canyons. Many kids have tried to dismantle the balanced rock, according to my tour guide, but none have succeeded in moving it from its mount atop another huge boulder.

There's a small area to pull over on the road and from that vantage point you can wander beyond the rock to view the vast lands of the state and national parks systems that make the region one of the least populated in California.   The road itself, is windy, narrow and not advised for large vehicles.  In the winter months, a portion of the road is closed to traffic as the gates are locked just passed Bear Valley. They are closed to cars, but you'll often find cross country skiers and snowmobilers on the highway that doesn't re-open until around Memorial Day (late May) each year. The reason the highway closes is because of snow and the narrow, steep road that becomes dangerous for cars.

For information on the Ebbetts Pass, the official source is



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