14 Mar 2014--Went to the Valley of Fire State Park yesterday, about a 45 minute drive northeast of Las Vegas. As you can see from the 1st 2 pictures, everything leading to the park, and even upon your initial entrance, is pretty rock formations but fairly colorless. You are not in the park very long though before everything gets very colorful.
This movie is "inside" the rocks Cathy and I are standing in front of in the last picture, above.
The park is broken down into separate viewing sections, which they name for easy identification. This stop is at the Arch Rock section, very much reminding us of our time spent in 2010 at Arches National Park in southern Utah, especially with the color of the rocks. You can see the "arch" in the 1st picture, but more closely in the last one here. Lots of people were camping and RVing in the park...what scenery to wake up to every day, huh?!
There are all kinds of petroglyphs in the park, with this area having a bunch of them. This was the only spot that we saw where they actually built a ladder to see them though.
Mouse's Tank is named for a renegade Indian, and you had to take a short hike to get to it. A "tank" is simply where a pool of water gathers after rains, as you can see in the last picture. And the video shows an area we had to walk through to get it, but more interestingly, a group of school kids climbing all the rocks. We were really surprised that the teachers and chaperons let them climb so high. Never once did I hear "be careful"! haha
This area was absolutely gorgeous, and one of the 2 best to me. All the colors were just amazing!
Fire Canyon and Silica Dome were at the same stop, so most of these pics show Fire Canyon and then you turn around and see the Silica Dome area, seen in the 3rd last pic that Cathy is in.
A couple pics and a video just as we drive along. I should mention hear that we are in the Mojave Desert here, and this road we are driving along is no more than 12 miles long! Needless to say, it took us all day to get through the park. haha
Along with Rainbow Vista, this is the other area I thought was the most beautiful. I am following Cathy along the "trail" as we walk a little more than a half mile to get to the end. It was called Fire Wave, and the area was just breathtaking!!! As you get to last pics in this group with me in them you might ask yourself why I seem to be posting the same pics of me...haha...I just couldn't decide which ones I liked best, so I posted them all! haha And I know that Ellen can't hear the audio on the video, so I am saying that being surrounded by this magnificent beauty actually makes me very emotional...and Cathy thinks that's weird!!! haha
The day was growing late, and my camera battery was warning me that I was running out of power (ugh!), so we didn't get to see this area completely...we had to cut the hike short, but at least from the small area we were able to go into, you can see a dramatic change in colors. It is called "White Domes"...notice how small the people on the rocks in the 3rd pic look...it really gives you an idea of just how massive some of this is. They said this area of the park has been used extensively in commercials and movies, including the old western, The Professionals, with Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin.
I am taking this video as we leave the White Domes area. We actually had to splice 2 videos together because we kept hitting bumps in the road...haha
This one is for Hallie...didn't want you to think we weren't thinking of you, Hallie!!! Look familiar? haha
And finally, these cabins were built for travelers back in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. People actually stayed in them. The 2nd pic is what the called "The Elephant", you can see his trunk (haha--just in case you missed it), and the final 3 are of what they called "The Beehive" section.
We didn't get to do any of the hiking trails, just the short walks to areas like Mouse's Tank or Fire Wave, so we may be back. We have a few other places to visit first to make sure we don't run out of time, but I would like to at least take the mile trail into the White Domes section we didn't get to see, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I wish everyone who reads this could join us, because even these pics and videos don't convey the beauty of the place. What a world!!!