The Liberty Bell Arch

Boulder City, NV

In our last blog we wrote about missing a turn leading to the Liberty Bell Arch and ending up hiking down to the Arizona Hot Springs.  The next day we returned to the same trailhead, determined to find the turn leading to the arch.  We carefully charted the mileage on an app we use and followed the description found on a website. Sure enough, a trail split off from the wash and went to the north right where it was suppose to.  But we could see why we missed it yesterday.  The trail is poorly marked, with only a small cairn (pile of rocks) marking the turn, and that was partially obscured by a bush.

Do you see the trail on the right?

We climbed up the trail for about a half mile to where it joins an old mine road.  After a bit we came to some of the abandoned equipment near an old magnesium mine.  There is an aerial cable with what appears to be a big, wooden cable car lying on the south-facing hillside.  This car was not moved on the cable, rather it was used as a loading chute for trucks that were driven up the road and parked below the chute that lies below the cable car.  The mine is on the opposite side of the hill and the ore was hoisted up the other side on a cable.  It was then dumped into the chute and slid down into the truck.

Cable on the other side, by the mine entrance

Entrance to the mine

At the mine site , an adit (frequent crossword puzzle word – a horizontal mine shaft) goes back about 60 feet, but there are skylights, so you can go all the way to the back without a flashlight.  Inside the mine, there are some tiny ore-car tracks (probably pushed by hand), old buckets, wooden timbers lying on the ground, and the last of the bore holes that the miners drilled before they gave up.

A number of old buckets and other debris were scattered around the mine.  The rusted tin pictured below looked like an old tin container that tobacco came in.

From the mine entrance we could see the rest of our hike to the west.  In the photo below the arrow on the right is the arch, although you can’t see it too well as it is a side view.  The arrow on the left is the Black Canyon Overlook, a thousand feet over the Colorado River.

As we hiked to the west the arch slowly came into view.

Around the south side of the arch, the reason for its name becomes evident.

We continued for another half mile on a gradual elevation gain to the top of the Black Canyon Overlook and were rewarded for our efforts with a great view of the river.

Looking to the south

In the view to the north we noticed a bridge in the distance.  Can’t see it?

A zoom photo gives a better view.  It is the  Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.  Opening in 2010 the bridge allows traffic to bypass the Hoover Dam (more on the bridge in a later blog).

Lunch with a view

After enjoying lunch on the overlook we began the return hike, stopping to enjoy great views of the Liberty Bell Arch.

Heading back up the wash to the trailhead

The hike out to the arch and the overlook is around three miles one way.  There is a bit of up and down elevation change (more up than down) on the way out but the trail is good and the beautiful vistas hold your attention.

We’re two for two on great hikes in the Lake Mead area already.  But there are so many neat hikes here we’re not sure which one to do next.  But that’s a good problem, right?

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25 Responses to The Liberty Bell Arch

  1. Laurel says:

    We’ve been on that cool bridge but not on that hike. You guys find the most amazing places! The Liberty Bell arch is really pretty. I’m sitting here in Ashland, Oregon in a fleece jacket and wool slippers looking at photos of you in shorts and sleeveless tops. I’m envious!!!

    • placestheygo says:

      Right now, Laurel, your fleece sounds great. It has been rather warm here. The high 80’s is way too warm but with the dry area and earlier starts, it has been fine. I’d much rather have low 60’s and wear a light sweatshirt. But we’ll survive:)

      I am using the site birdandhike.com for our hiking ideas. There are enough hikes around us to keep one busy for months.

      • Laurel says:

        Pam, thanks for the tip on birdandhike.! I’d never heard of it. We’ll put it to good use. We always have your blog to refer to, as well, for excellent hiking ideas. 🙂

  2. pmbweaver says:

    What are you two crazies doing going into that mine?
    The view of the River is awesome. You can see for miles, and miles and miles and miles.
    Great photo of Pam with the Liberty Bell Arch. I like the one with the Liberty Bell Arch and the bridge too! Yep, another great hike!

    • placestheygo says:

      Marsha, the mine was fine to enter and actually written about in our directions. With big openings high in the sides it was very light. Quite cool for us, I’m sure the miners didn’t feel the same way!

  3. Yes, that’s a very good problem to have! Every time I have driven that area near Hoover Dam I’ve wondered about trails in those hills…thanks for taking me there!

  4. LuAnn says:

    I had no idea there were that many hikes in the area. That arch really does look like the Liberty Bell. With Pam on the prowl, there will always be trails to hike! 🙂

  5. Rick Doyle says:

    Quite the spectacular hike! Love the photo of the Hoover Dam bridge from out in the middle of nowheresville! Beautiful pictures too.

  6. Jodee Gravel says:

    Being a desert rat I’m loving these hikes! I grew up going to abandoned mines, checking out the rusted reminders of a very different life. That old sled looks very precarious, but has obviously been sitting in that spot for a bit. The arch is great – and certainly lives up to its name!
    No, I would not have seen that trail off to the right 🙂

  7. Fab photos – again. They make my feet itchy.

  8. Sherry says:

    Another great hike, a twoer with the mine and the arch. That definitely was not a trail that jumped out and said here I am. Wonderful pictures, love your lunch spot.

  9. Good on you two for going back to finish the hike to the Arch. While reading your posts yesterday and today, I looked at the area from above using Google Maps satellite view, which I use extensively and highly recommend BTW. I can see where the Arch trail left the White Rock Wash trail. Based on your photo, it would be easy to miss. And the lunch view is the frosting on the cake.

    • placestheygo says:

      Ed, John uses Google Maps satellite all the time. This is a very popular trial to the Liberty Bell so we never thought we would have trouble finding the cut off. Of course, we really weren’t paying attention to our direction either that first day.

  10. Yes, that is a problem I like having, too! I’m guessing the Anniversary Narrows is on your hike list. Definitely worth it.

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, Gayle and Jim, Anniversary Narrows is on our list:) These first two hikes were only a few miles away which is why we started there. The lady at the Visitor’s Center said to park and hike the wash in to the Narrows and check out the gem field. I love rocks so I am hoping to find something exciting.

  11. Erin says:

    When we visited Lake Mead, we were on our way to somewhere else, so didn’t spend much time there. I’m looking forward to hiking alongside from the comfort of the sofa.

  12. Gay says:

    Great hike you two…lots to see and do!

  13. That mine shaft also screams, ” Steve come over here.” It appears now that there are really lots of hiking trails in Nevada and thanks for blazing the path for us. And we just watched a documentary about that bridge, how cool.
    Great pictures, and I like the one with lunch with a view!

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, MonaLiza! I was so surprised how many trails there are here in this area. We won’t run out of hikes any time soon. I am using birdandhike.com for ideas. It is an awesome site with great directions and photos of the trail.

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