Along Desert View Drive, you will find a few small pullouts that have room for only one or two cars. Some of these have small trails that lead up to rocky, rim edge views of the Canyon. Be very careful if you hike up such a trail, because there are no guardrails to keep you safe.
The Desert View Watchtower at the Grand Canyon is a magical place. It is a great stone tower built right on the edge of the canyon rim way back in 1932. You can climb to the top and enjoy the views of the canyon and the Colorado River below. After that, you can strike out on a hike along the ledge of the Grand Canyon to get to your perfect photo spot.
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.