After spending several days amid the beauty of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, we almost skipped the side trip to Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park, located about an hour’s drive outside of Las Vegas. We are glad we decided to take the turnoff at Exit #75 off Interstate 15 and spend a couple of hours among this park’s red sandstone formations.
The park’s 42,000 acres include about 10 miles of paved roads that provide access to a number of highly eroded and unusual features formed from shifting sand dunes millions of years ago. There is an interpretive visitor center with bathrooms available, but food and water are limited so plan to bring a picnic lunch and make an afternoon of it.
The park also houses petroglyphs from when the Anasazi people lived in the area. Be sure to climb the metal stairs at Atlatl Rock to get a good view.
Remnants of a Civilian Conservation Corps work site from the 1930s can be found down a side turnoff.
In mid-April the temperatures approached 90 degrees and the limited available shade was very welcome. We arrived at the time that many of the wildflowers were blooming along the sides of the roads and trails, adding some color to the bright red landscape. Even the park’s hardy lizards and ground squirrels were out and about.
Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water when you visit here. Unless you really like it hot, the park is probably best visited during the winter, spring or fall as summertime highs easily top 120 degrees on many days.
Camp sites are available as are day use picnic areas. Lake Mead is nearby but we didn’t get that far this visit. We had to hit the road to get to Las Vegas in time for the Cirque du Soleil show “O” which features a dozens of swimmers cavorting in a 1.5 million gallon pool – talk about a contrast with the arid Valley of Fire!
We hope you enjoyed these photos, we will link them to the next Delicious Baby Photo Friday.