Valley of Fire State Park –
was our destination as we drove northeast from Lake Mead in Nevada. We had heard great things about the place from a friend.
While driving, we suddenly saw a few sandstone hills like these, in the middle of nowhere.
After a few miles, we saw more of those big rocks and a sign of some sort, a little vague on what it meant other than ‘turn here’. We did, thinking maybe this was our destination – Valley of Fire State Park.
Nope, it was just a rest stop of sorts. There were a couple of hiking trails and paths around these huge rocks. Ah, the fascination was starting.
As you can tell, we got out and walked around. What a place! The formations and colors were gloriously stunning. I think we both thought the same thing; if this is what the rest stop is like, what must the actual park be like – we’re going to love it.
In a lot of places, these rock piles are smooth to the touch.
Yes, this whole post is comprised of photographs of orange rocks!
May we remind you this wasn’t a State Park, a National Park or anything – just a roadside rest area with a trail – in the middle of absolutely nowhere!
Just one more from this area. Magnificent, right!
After about 20 minutes, we realized we’d better get back in the car and find our actual destination before it got too late. I think it was almost an hour before we found this sign.
At Last, We Found It!
We paid an entry fee, maybe $10 and absolutely worth it. The main road went west and we followed it since we had no idea which way to go or where to stop.
As we drove, we noticed a few smaller roads going off into the hills surrounding the valley. We also found out there are two campgrounds in the park, which we didn’t check out since we’d be spending the night in Las Vegas.
The Seven Sisters
Our first stop was called the Seven Sisters. Out of the car and into the hills we went with camera in hand. The photo below is only one of the sisters.
They were huge, impressive, and enticing!
I love these formations with intricate holes, tunnels, and caves, what fun.
Look at the face up there!
The video gives a good sense of the area – check it out.
Are you putting this place on your bucket list yet – Valley of Fire State Park!
We saw a limo in this parking area, then a small wedding party. Apparently, they do weddings here – you can too if you’ve got something like that in mind.
Our Next Stop
We got back in the car and turned off the main road onto Mouse’s Tank Road. What a name, right? Do you know what a Mouse’s Tank is? A natural depression that fills with rainwater; I just learned that.
Everywhere you look it’s the same hue! Real Red we came to call it. But only in the park. Beyond the valley, things look the same as they do for miles around: beige, brown, white and gray.
That formation just sat by itself by the side of the road.
Along the main road, there had been wide-open space between us and the hills. On this road, it was different – barely room to park between the road and the hills: 15 feet tops.
Rainbow Vista Trail
We found a small parking lot and took a walk in the area; this was more of a small canyon. We chose to take it as it was called the Rainbow Vista Trail. We should probably share that there were a fair number of other people here. The reason you can’t see them is that I always try to get photos without random humans detracting from the image.
That thing was massive and so striking. How do the wind and rain come up with these shapes?
These photos only show a hint of the purple. To the naked eye, it was purple, no two ways about it.
You can see the orange and purplish stripes, right? Majestic and graceful – you have to come and see it for yourself.
Now that’s an inviting view. We went a bit further on the path before turning around. There was lots of the park to see and we only had the afternoon. It seems like that often happens to us. We’re in a sublime place and we have to hurry because we have a tight schedule. We’re working on loosening the grip that has on us!
After our walk in this area, we got back in the car and drove back down to the main road and continued west. I had checked before we arrived and saw that the main road joined the interstate northeast of Las Vegas. So even though we drove the long way, there was no backtracking involved.
Last, But Not Least
The hills in these next photos were a bit different and more spread out. But just as stunning as the others. Yes, I have more photos, but wasn’t allowed in include any others!
Wouldn’t you know it, this one is called Arch Rock!
You are not allowed to climb up there, so this was the best photo I could get.
Believe it or not, we had to reach a negotiated settlement on how many photos to include in this post!
After our jaunt through the park, one of us (Hmmm…who could that be?) had hundreds of pictures in their iPhone. We love us some rocks and this park had some alright.
I don’t have adequate words for these two – unbelievable beauty – mother nature strikes again!
In conclusion, we’d have to say – “We love this place.” We’ll certainly return one day, but we’ll sleep in the park, so we get more time to explore. It’s only 58 miles from the Vegas Strip – anyone with a car can go!
On this trip, our next stop was a hotel in Las Vegas for the night. We’ll pick up from there in the next post.
What’s Next – Back to Oregon we go
You’ll get every post!