How to follow the wrong trail, but still get some nice photos. I wanted to hike Thomas Point Trail because of the scenic views that were described on the trail map. If only I had done a little bit of research, and found the official website, I would have known to climb up the steep hill directly instead of to climb slowly and track alongside the Road. Finding the launching point was challenge enough, as the map I had simply said that the trailhead was across Arizona State Route 89A from the Call of the Canyon Picnic Site. It was actually about a half mile down a narrow road which involved some serious car dodging and trail head sleuthing. Even though I tracked the wrong trail, I ended up having a nice hike through some pine trees and with some beautiful views. It turns out that sometimes it is OK to get lost.
The West Fork Trail is in a beautiful spot along Arizona State Route 89A, between Flagstaff and Sedona. If you are not into hiking, this is still an awesome drive to take. The hike is one of the most popular in the region. It takes you through an open pasture, across a bridge, and then alongside some rocky cliffs, with some stream crossings thrown in for fun. I didn’t hike the full length of this trail, because I wanted to hike a separate trail here, but someday I will return to try it again.
One of my favorite experiences at the Grand Canyon was the short hike I had time for on part of the Bright Angel Trail. This is a must do if you visit – take a day hike. You may encounter spectacular views, wildlife, and other friendly hikers from around the world. Please do this if you can, but also be safe as you plan for and enjoy the hike.
Just a short ride out to Lee Canyon from the Vegas Strip, and you will discover some beautiful hikes. The Lower Bristlecone Trail is an easy one, with a wide gravel path to enjoy. Along the way, I found pine trees, mountain views, fresh air, woodpeckers, pine cones, and deer. I highly recommend a drive out to Lee Canyon if you find yourself in the area.
The Liberty Bell Arch Trail starts from a wash in the desert, and then rises in elevation to provide several scenic views of the hills surrounding the Colorado River, just below Hoover Dam. This hike is a super hot desert hike, always in the sun. It is best left for the winter months. However, if you take the challenge, you will be rewarded with beautiful panoramic views.
The trail for the Liberty Bell Arch starts just around the 4 mile marker off of Highway 93 in Arizona. There is a nice big parking lot, a slightly misleading trail map, and a bridge to cross under to start your hike. What they don’t tell you is that there are several different trails out there, and if you are not careful, you can end up on the wrong one even if you follow the signs. I ended up on the wrong trail that led me for a long, but beautiful, loop through the desert. All the while getting further and further from the bridge with pretty looks back towards my jumping off point.