Thursday, July 27, 2017

Nevada's Valley of Fire

We were driving between St. George, Utah and Las Vegas and looking for some interesting places to break up the drive. We thought we might stop at a bar or restaurant on Lake Mead for a quick stop. There was also an interesting sounding place - Valley of Fire State Park - that we thought we would give a go to. We drove down the long entrance road and came to a parking lot. There were a few cars and several motorcycles with a few people milling about. The self-pay said it was $10 and I was quite leery it would be worth it. All I could see were a few large rocks - so I tried to persuade the Mr. from paying and going in. I couldn't have been more wrong. And I'm glad Mr. UR is game to try just about anything.






Once we drove over the first hill - and saw what we couldn't see from the entrance - I knew Valley of Fire was a special place. Bright red sandstone, limestone, rocks, petroyglyphs, a mid-century modern visitor center and wildlife all mix together in Nevada's oldest and largest state park. (A road was built through here in the early 1900's for people travelling from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles and they started calling it the Valley of Fire then.)













I actually have a hard time describing it - the desert landscape is varied with different colors and shape of rock - and on our drive through the park I couldn't help but think that it reminded me of the Flintstones cartoons that I watched when I was young. Some of the rocks looked like they could've been Fred and Wilma's house and some areas looked like the rock quarry where Fred worked. As much of the desert southwest seems to me, it looks a bit otherwordly - like you're on a different planet. There are several named rock formations - elephant rock, balanced rock, seven sisters, and beehive. There is even a memorial to a soldier, John Clark, who came through the area after his release from the US Army. Apparently water was as scarce then as now, and finding none he died.










Whatever it reminds you of, it's definitely a unique place. I thought it was just so cool. We drove through the entire park - though probably at a quicker pace than those who make it their only destination - and got a sweet surprise of spying some bighorn sheep. We climbed the ladder to view the petroyglyphs - presumably from the Anasazi culture. Then, as usual, we needed to be on our way. But I'm so glad we took the time to stop.







If you're in Vegas and your luck has run out - or you just need an escape from the city - or you love a good state park - then you may to to visit Valley of Fire State Park. 


Things to know before you go:
-Valley of Fire is a state park comprising of 40,000 acres of Aztec red sandstone located in Overton, Nevada about 54 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
-Park entrance fees are $10 and the park is open 365 days per year from sunrise to sunset.
-There are two campgrounds with 72 units. Campsites includes shaded tables, grills and water with 24 hour access.
-The visitor center is open daily from 8:30 to 4:30.
-Leashed pets are allowed in the park but not the visitor center.

How about you? Have you been to Valley of Fire?


This post is part of a link-up with: Weekend Travel Inspiration at Albom Adventures, Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond and The Weekend Wanderlust Travel Blog Party!









14 comments:

  1. This is a place I have wanted to visit for a long time. Every time I plan a visit, something happens. I hope to return to the Vegas area this fall. Let's see if this time I can make it there. #TPThursday

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    1. I hope you make it there - it's awesome! Thanks for visiting, Ruth!

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  2. Interesting, I've never heard of the Nevada's Valley of Fire. We don't travel very often past Las Vegas, but we love the desert. This road looks really beautiful and I would surely love to take a road trip from Las Vegas to Utah using this route. Thanks for joining us for #TheWeeklyPostcard

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    1. It was new to us, too but so glad we went. And happy that it wasn't in the heat of the summer. Thanks for visiting, and hope you make it there someday!

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  3. I've wanted to visit The Valley of Fire ever since I was a girl and read a Nancy Drew mystery that was set there. Reading your post, I'm reminded that the petroglyphs played some part in Nancy's mystery. I would love to see them in person. My aunt and uncle live in Vegas, and I'm hoping that I will one day get out there to visit them. This looks like a good place to go with my kids. #WkendTravelInspiration

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    1. Wow I thought I'd read every Nancy Drew mystery but I don't remember that one! It's a pretty cool state park - I hope you make it there someday! Thanks for visiting, Michele!

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  4. Great Post. I loved visiting Valley of Fire. It's such a beautiful park. Lucky that you got to see some animals during your visit.

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    1. Thanks! And the wildlife definitely made the visit for me - it was such a quick glimpse! Thanks for visiting The Unpaved Road!

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  5. We love this park! We went on a day trip from Vegas a couple of years ago. My kids loved climbing those rocks. Lucky for you to see the sheep. You're so right that it's like another world out there. Glad you got to visit.

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    1. It's a gem, isn't it? I'm so glad we got to visit also. Thanks for stopping by, Mary!

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  6. I lived in Nevada for a while (north near Lake Tahoe) and never heard of this park. I do like the extreme desert environment in Nevada.

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    1. Me,too, Rhonda! Thanks for visiting The Unpaved Road!

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  7. I like your comparison to the Flintstones - I can see it too. I would love to do this drive. I hope I get to see the big horn sheep - Love that photo of their behinds! Thanks for linking up with Travel Photo Thursday.

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  8. I'm glad you see the Flintstones resemblance, too! :) And the big horn sheep were so cool - I go their behinds cause it was such a fleeting moment in time - they're quick! Thanks for visiting, Jan!

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