Friday, November 4, 2016

Valley of Fire SP

The other day we headed north on Northshore Rd., through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, with Valley of Fire State Park as our destination.    We've never taken this road all the way so we spent lots of time stopping at various overlooks along the way.  

Warning - if you're tired of seeing pictures of rocks you may want to skip this post

We even stopped a beautiful hot spring oasis (Rogers Spring) in the middle of the desert.    Of course, Dave had to put his finger in it to see if it was really was.

Out of Lake Mead National Recreation Area and into the Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park.    The landscape changed.   Huge outcroppings of fire red rocks came into view as we headed into the park.

We stopped at the Visitor's Center and got a map but soon realized we didn't allow enough time in this fabulous park.      We could only do one hike so we picked the White Domes, at the far end of the park.

It started out by going down a "natural" staircase from the parking lot down into a narrow wash.

it's a long way down

It was further down and steeper than I'd expected and my knee was singing by the time I got to the bottom.

Knee was soon forgotten, the landscape along this hike was fabulous.   Shapes and colors of rocks we'd never seen.   Rocks are rocks, right?    Not here.

pink stripe honeycomb

About halfway along the trail we came to a short slot canyon.    We welcomed the shade it provided.     The weather here has been beautiful, but by the afternoon a bit hot to hike along in the sun.

Once through he slot we discovered a number of holes, niches and small arches along the trail.

he's quietly hiding from me

The path back to the Jeep was much more humane, the slope up to the top was long and gentile.    I was glad of that, I was tired by then and the thought of a climb up and out like the one we took to get down was making me start to complain.    Phew!

Before we left the park we took a quick swing through the campground loops and decided to make a point of staying there the next time we were through the area.   The sites were scattered around among the huge red boulders and we could just imagine the silence and starlit skies that would greet us when we stepped out of Beluga in the evening.      Besides, there is so much more to this park than we had time for.   Staying inside would allow us to roam free and explore it carefully.

We opted to drive back through the Lake Mead National Recreational Area on our way home instead of picking up I-15 which was fairly close to the entrance station.   The peaceful landscape and lack of traffic along that route would allow us to talk about our experience and relive the lovely hike we'd just had.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about our cool Jeep ride and hike on NP61, Crane's Nest Road.    Perhaps I'll show you pictures of today's Jeep tour and hike to the river on NP62, Old Ranger Station Rd.     Lewis has been having a ball these past few days.    He's turning into a real mountain goat!

Lew is through in a flash....Dave and I, not so fast


  1. So glad you made it to Valley of Fire SP!! It is a spectacular place! The White Dome Loop is the longest of the popular hikes. It is tricky getting down, but so worth it:) Most of the other trails are under a mile one way. The colors are just something one must see in person. Yes, staying in the park makes it easier to enjoy the entire area, not to mention just enjoying the campground surroundings. Lew would love being able to run up the red rocks near his home:) A great day for sure!

  2. Valley of Fire SP was our first experience of up close and personal red rocks. We were hooked immediately !
    I so love the colors, shapes and size of it all. We also enjoyed Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area when we were there over 3 years ago.

  3. Valley of Fire is a place that deserves our attention. Sounds like a very good idea to stay in the park next time. The sandstone in that park is AMAZING! Love all your little details shots!

  4. I remember when we first moved to Las Vegas from Illinois in the early '90's, I was in total awe by the landscape. Thanks for reminding me we need to go back and explore more.... so very intriguing.

  5. So wonderful going back to our favorite place with you! Love those honeycomb stripes. Dave may be a better hiker than he is a hider :-) I wish we had driven back through the park too, that I-15 drive is a mess.

  6. I agree you need to come back for another round of seeing and touching those gorgeous rocks.

  7. Oh, this place is SO on our list! Wonderful colorful photos of the amazing rock formations.