Tagged with "national parks"
12 Feb
2017
Posted in: photography, travel
By    Comments Off on Different Side of Las Vegas: Valley of Fire State Park

Different Side of Las Vegas: Valley of Fire State Park

road into valley of fire state park

Valley of Fire State Park Nevada red rocks

Quite a few people in our circle of friends will be spending Spring Break in Las Vegas. I’ve replied to a few inquiries about family-friendly ideas in Vegas on the cheap and outdoor activities that don’t include sitting poolside. We’ve been through Las Vegas numerous times one our way to and from other adventures like Disneyland, Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley National Park. My go-to suggestion for people staying in Vegas who want an outdoor adventure is Valley of Fire State Park.

White Dome Trail - Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Red sandstone formations at Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

The park is located about one hour northeast of Las Vegas and its eastern edge is six miles from Lake Mead. As we neared the entrance to the park last spring, I couldn’t believe we had driven on Interstate 15 countless times and had no idea the magnificent red sandstone formations of Valley of Fire were hidden a short distance from the busy highway. Ancient people lived in the area from 300 B.C.E. to 1150 C.E. and left many petroglyphs in the region from their occupation.

Valley of Fire State Park petroglyphs

The weather in the spring was perfect for Wyomingites who deal with bitter wind and snow until May some years. The temperatures were in the high 60s during our day visit. We are rock people. We happily wander for hours through rock landscapes with unique formations. Valley of Fire did not disappoint. A bonus for us is the presence of petrified wood logs and stumps from an ancient forest.

White Dome hiking trail - Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park slot canyon

The fire red sandstone gives way to contrasting colors of pink, white, tan and purple. The colors are layered in a rock rainbow in various parts of the park. The White Domes Trail is a relatively easy trek of 1¼ miles through sandstone in various and beautifully varying colors. The trail also contains a short slot canyon, and we hold a true love for all things slot canyon. Keep your eyes open for smalls caves and indentations in the rocks around you.  There has been serious upheaval and erosion over thousands of year in this part of Nevada.

White Dome hiking trail - Valley of Fire State Park

Fire Wave in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Fire Wave Trail takes you through barren rock landscape dotted with barrel cactus and ending in the spectacular Fire Wave formation. We lingered in the area with several serious photographers enjoying a Nevada sunset. The setting sun intensified the colors of the wave before mellowing the vibrancy of the area as dusk settled in. It was beautiful and the reason why we travel and hike. Finding that place that’s like no other. Discovering yet another unique wonderful landscape is what keeps me traveling. Valley of Fire met that criteria and rates much higher on my list of things to do in the Las Vegas area over casinos and shows.

 


 
Take a Trip: Discovering History
By     |    Dec 28, 2016
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Take a Trip: Discovering History

We’re only a few weeks into winter in Wyoming, and I’m over it. The mounds of snow followed by hurricane-strength winds, seriously 70+ miles per hour, wears me down and makes me irritable. I’m finishing 2016 with a few posts looking back on our summer adventures while I begin planning our 2017 vacations. For me, gifting our children with experiences is the most ideal way to teach them. We travel a lot by car because it allows us to see... [Read More]

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Wandering Through the Summer
By     |    Aug 2, 2016
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Wandering Through the Summer

We’ve spent our summer doing what we do best: wandering. I play the part of responsible adult most of the year, attending meetings, turning work in on time, volunteering, and running kids hither and thither. Summer is for following my gypsy heart. I long for deserted roads stretching to the horizon and open vistas from the mountain tops. I pour over the road atlas and maps looking for the next place to visit. I’m sidetracked by road signs. I constantly... [Read More]

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Travel Wyoming, Collect Free Stickers
By     |    Jun 14, 2016
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Travel Wyoming, Collect Free Stickers

I had a sweet sticker book when I was in elementary school. I collected stickers and carefully placed them in the book, sort of like a sports card collection, but with smelly and puffy stickers. Three summers ago, when we realized the Wyoming Office of Tourism had a free souvenir sticker program available to travelers, I knew we’d have to collect them all. The stickers have a vintage look with muted earth-tone colors and artwork themed for an area in... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Dinosaur National Monument
By     |    Jun 13, 2016
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Take a Trip: Dinosaur National Monument

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. I have a box of plastic dinosaur figures in various sizes in our basement. Each of the boys went through a dinosaur-loving phase during their toddler years. While they no longer play with the dinosaur figures, they remain intrigued by fossils. The love of fossils comes from... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Petrified Forest National Park
By     |    May 16, 2016
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Take a Trip: Petrified Forest National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. Petrified Forest National Park is located near Holbrook, Arizona and rivals Wyoming for ridiculous wind. The wind wasn’t mentioned in any of my spring break planning materials. Trust me when I say there should be some sort of asterisk footnote in travel guides warning people that wind... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Grand Canyon National Park
By     |    Apr 18, 2016
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Take a Trip: Grand Canyon National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. We spent years talking about visiting Grand Canyon National Park. We couldn’t ever peg down a good time of year to visit. There were other national parks ranked higher on our wish list. Excuses piled for why we never chose the iconic American spot. This year was the... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Rocky Mountain National Park
By     |    Mar 14, 2016
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Take a Trip: Rocky Mountain National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. My husband and I spent 44 hours this weekend without children enjoying the tail-end of winter in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The start of 2016 has been rough, and we needed to regroup. Snowshoeing in the park was the most peaceful I’ve felt in months.... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
By     |    Feb 26, 2016
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Take a Trip: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. Across the United States there are over 400 National Park Service entities. That’s a lot of places deemed worthy to be protected for historical reasons or the natural beauty of an area. I let go of any dream of visiting all of the entities a few years... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Capitol Reef National Park
By     |    Jan 18, 2016
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Take a Trip: Capitol Reef National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. Capitol Reef National Park is located in a remote area of Utah. We visited several years ago (March 2011) over spring break and essentially had the park to ourselves with only a handful of other visitors to share the over 240,000 acres. I’m a sucker for rocky... [Read More]

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One Thing that Changed Our Travels
By     |    Aug 25, 2015
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One Thing that Changed Our Travels

I remember five years ago standing in a visitor center making the decision to purchase a book titled, Passport To Your National Parks. I thought the book would be a nice way to remember places we visited but had no idea how much it would change the way our family travels. It was meant to be a souvenir but changed the way we travel. The passport is a blue, small, spiral book where tourists can collect stamps from visits to... [Read More]

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Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park
By     |    Aug 22, 2015
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Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park

Stand at any number of overlooks in Bryce Canyon National Park gazing at the colorful landscape of hoodoos and you’ll understand the definition of breathtaking. The shades of red, orange, white and gray layered on each other seem unreal. We stood at Sunset Point watching shadows shift and change among the hoodoos as the sun neared the horizon and knew we had to be down in the canyon. Our first hike in the park was down the switchbacks of Wall Street. You... [Read More]

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