December 24, 2013 (Las Vegas vacation)
Liberty Bell Arch 395 metres elev gain 12.66 km (including alternate route in)
Another day, another activity! Lovely Steve from Desert Adventures recommended this hike on the way home (home = Hacienda) Saturday. The trail head for White Rock Canyon is signposted just off Highway 93 over the Hoover Dam in Arizona. You cross under the highway then head for the canyon. Most people would then wait until they saw the branch trail, however we turned right and followed an alternate (ie. longer & hillier) route in on old roads. You can see it on the map above. The map also includes a squiggly bit early on where we lost the route altogether.
Shortly after connecting back with the original trail we came upon some old mining debris.
Then the mine shaft itself. There are old rusty buckets inside, you can see well thanks to skylights in the roof.
Round the bend and across the valley from the mine is the namesake of the hike, the Liberty Bell Arch. There are side trails that take you right up to it though I believe it would be tricky to climb into the actual arch.
Then there's the reason we did this, the view down into Black Canyon. The beautiful green oasis is Moonscape Canyon where we landed during the kayak trip. I love seeing things from different perspectives. We spent an hour up here enjoying the sun and the view. We only saw 3 other people all day and they were passing by the other way.
The rock throughout was coloured, this section was green and pink.
We quickly came back to the original canyon and found this clear trail marker. We had turned right too soon when we arrived and missed it. We figure the extra old road detour added 4k and a good hour to the trip. It added different scenery, though primarily views of the highway!
We met the gentleman who created this, he was fascinating. He described himself as an activist and in my opinion we need a good few more of those. It was a striking sight amidst the rock and desert.
I would highly recommend this hike, but skip the road detour. The rest of the route is premier to say the least with constantly changing rock colours and landscapes. The old mine is a great feature and the arch and canyon views are spectacular. White Rock Canyon leads you to Arizona Hot Springs so you could really make a day of it.