The first time I visited the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada it was in late August and it was 113 degrees that day! I truly felt like I was on fire in that valley! We only had a couple of hours and were there mid-day so the lighting was not great so I vowed
I would get back there when I could spend more time getting more & better opportunities for some images! After over 2 years I finally made it back to what is one of my favorite places to see & photograph! This time is was spring and a temperature that I could actually breath in!
Last time the sky was solid blue without a cloud in the sky, this time we had clouds & overcast most of the time we were there!
Here are some details about Valley of Fire State Park from Wikipedia:
“Valley of Fire State Park is the oldest state park in Nevada, USA and was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968. It covers an area of almost 42,000 acres (17,000 ha) and was dedicated in 1935. It derives its name from red sandstone formations, the Aztec Sandstone, which formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park’s attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays.
Valley of Fire is located 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Las Vegas, at an elevation between 2,000–2,600 feet (610–790 m). It abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the east at the Virgin River confluence. It lies in a 4 by 6 mi (6.4 by 9.7 km) basin.
Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. The rough floor and jagged walls of the park contain brilliant formations of eroded sandstone and sand dunes more than 150 million years old. Other important rock formations include limestones, shales, andconglomerates.
The park is accessed by the Valley of Fire Highway through the Moapa Indian Reservation from Interstate 15 to the west and from Nevada State Route 169 on the east side of the park south of Overton. The park has a visitor center that should be visited by anyone planning any off-road activities.
The site is marked as Nevada Historical Marker #150.”
This time we had enough time to hike some of the various trails that go off the main roads. Our first hike was down Mouse Tank Trail. This was a very sandy trail which had some great stone formations, wild flowers, petroglyphs and the “tank” of water at the end.
And it just so happened that I ran into a friend from California who I had only met online previously! She recognized my voice as I was talking to one of my fellow Florida photographers! You never know who you will run into while out in the world!
We were fortunate that there had been some rain recently so there were wild flowers everywhere! I found them in some very unlikely spots!
One of the aspects of this area that I had noticed on my first visit was views of the road winding up & down and around in the valley. This time we stopped several times for different perspectives and I even climbed up on a large rock to get a totally different view.
Toward the end of the day we ended up at the end of the road at Valley of Fire State Park, at White Dome. There is a 1 mile hike around this “little” out cropping. It doesn’t sound like a long hike but it was a bit of a climb at several points along the way. Plus we took a couple of upward detours to get a better view of the rock formations around us.
Along the trail we came upon a pretty long slot canyon! I have never been in one of these formations before. This one was full of colors and holes worn by flowing water and wind.
And then we found this really interesting hole in the rock which we climbed up to and shot through!
Finally as the sun was going down (and we needed to leave) the sky opened up a bit and the sun gave us a bit of color again!
Sunset reflecting off the clouds.
The Valley of Fire State Park is a must see destination that is not far from Las Vegas. Try to make your visit in the spring or late fall when the temperature is more bearable. Be ready to hike & climb! And be ready to be overwhelmed by the magnitude and the color of this beautiful place!
For these and additional images please visit my Valley of Fire gallery.
That is all for now!