Valley of Fire in Nevada

Valley of Fire - Nevada

By Judy Berman

The desert might seem like an odd place to visit when the temperatures have been in the triple digits for several weeks.

But, fortunately for us, there was a slight breeze and an air-conditioned van that eased any discomfort as we toured the Valley of Fire State Park in mid-July. Valley of Fire is about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada.

We scampered across rocks and climbed up into them. This place was on my must-see visit in Vegas this year.

Some people stare at clouds and think they look like a dog, a bunny or some other creature. As we stared at the rock formations, we did the same. We saw the profile of an Indian Chief, an elephant, a poodle and much more.

The desert also held some surprises. In the middle of nowhere, there were three cabins. The Cabins were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers in the 1930s.

Not far from the park, we stopped to visit the Desert Springs. While it’s a lovely oasis, don’t drink the water and don’t swim in it. The results could be deadly.

The Arch Rock, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
The Arch Rock, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Nightmare? Rock formations
Nightmare? Rock formations

 

Valley of Fire - Fire Wave - a small waterfall spilling off the rocks
Valley of Fire – Fire Wave – a small waterfall spilling off the rocks
Valley of Fire - rock tunnels
Valley of Fire – rock tunnels
climbing steps to see petroglyphs (writings in the desert)
climbing steps to see petroglyphs (writings in the desert)
petroglyphs - ancient writings in the desert
petroglyphs – ancient writings in the desert
Profile of an Indian Chief carved into the rocks?
Profile of an Indian chief carved into the rocks?
Balancing Rock
Balancing Rock
A rock formation that some think look like a poodle
A rock formation that some think look like a poodle
The Cabins built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)members.
The Cabins built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) members.
Desert Springs - A welcome attraction in the dry desert, but do not drink the water or swim in it.
Our tour guide, Adam Hefner with Casino Travel and Tours, at Desert Springs – A welcome attraction in the dry desert, but do not drink the water or swim in it.

 

Where do you prefer to visit? The mountains, deserts, rivers, the ocean or cities?

 

Note about the photos: I chose to use five photos from Wikimedia commons because many of my own photos had a bluish cast. Not sure what happened. It was certainly disappointing when I checked the photos after we returned from our tour.

Main Photo: Valley of Fire, Nevada – vista – taken Dec. 18, 2012, Author: Frank Kovalcheck of Anchorage, Alaska https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7d/What_an_amazing_place%21_%288286982428%29.jpg

Photo: Valley of Fire, Nevada – Arch Rock – taken Dec. 18, 2012, Author Frank Kovalcheck of Anchorage, Alaska    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b3/Arch_Rock_-_it_is_actually_very_small_%288285923311%29.jpg

Photo: Valley of Fire – Nightmare rock formations – taken Oct. 11, 2012. Author: John Fowler of Placitas, New Mexico https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7a/Nightmare_%288192727113%29.jpg/640px-Nightmare_%288192727113%29.jpg

Photo: Valley of Fire – Fire Wave – taken Oct. 11, 2012. Author: John Fowler of Placitas, New Mexico. (At the time of his visit, there was a little waterfall spilling off the west side.) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/54/Fire_Wave_%288161224428%29.jpg/541px-Fire_Wave_%288161224428%29.jpg

Photo: Valley of Fire, Nevada – rock tunnels – taken Dec. 18, 2012, Author: Frank Kovalcheck of Anchorage, Alaska https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/43/Absolutely_amazing_formations_everywhere_%288286980054%29.jpg/486px-Absolutely_amazing_formations_everywhere_%288286980054%29.jpg

 

Photo: Valley of Fire – climbing steps to see petroglyphs – ancient writings in the desert. Taken July 2015 by me (Judy Berman)

Photo: Valley of Fire – petroglyphs – Taken July 2015 by Judy Berman.

Photo: Valley of Fire – A stone structure that appears to be a profile of Indian chief. Taken July 2015 by Judy Berman

Photo: Valley of Fire – Balancing Rock – Taken July 2015 by Judy Berman

Photo: Valley of Fire – A stone structure that some think looks like a poodle – Taken July 2015 by Judy Berman

Photo: Valley of Fire – The Cabins – Taken July 2015 by Judy Berman

Photo: Valley of Fire – Desert Springs – Don’t drink the water or swim in it. Taken July 2015 by Judy Berman

 

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42 thoughts on “Valley of Fire in Nevada

  1. My son and son-in-law took their eldest on a trip in July that included Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon + Yosemite. The interplay of lights was gorgeous in the snapshots and video we viewed, particularly in the canyons. Our own trip to the Smokies was less ambitious but, (since you asked) I prefer mountain views to desert vistas. Why? Cooler temps and the mystery of tall peaks.

    It did not escape my notice that you invested a lot of time selecting and uploading photos and creating text for this post. I also know the disappointment of photos that are not quite up to snuff. Great post!

    Thanks for this bit of armchair travel, Judy.

    1. Thanks for noticing, Marian. My own photos do not do the Valley of Fire justice. I’ll bet those photos your son and son-in-law took were gorgeous.

      I also prefer the mountains, rivers and creeks to the desert. For the same reasons you do – it’s much cooler. Sitting by a brook in the shade is my idea of heaven. 😉

  2. Now I’ll need to schedule a trip there.

    You can easily adjust the bluish cast by setting the white balance in almost any photo editing program. Perhaps even the camera.

    1. Disperser … I bet you’d love it there, based on the outdoor photos you’ve posted. 😉

      I’ll try to check out your tip about adjusting the color. The photos have since been downloaded onto Picassa.

  3. I really liked the petroglyphs and the valley of fire. I enjoyed photo of Lake at Desert Springs and thanks for the tour, Judy. 🙂 I never question why people go somewhere on vacation since everywhere you may fond natural wonders!

    1. My Dad used to take us out in the desert to see petroglyphs and some of nature’s odd beauties. Desert Springs was gorgeous, but you wouldn’t want to swim there or drink the water. There was a sign warning against it. 😉

  4. I’ve only been to Las Vegas once, and we stayed within the city, but I’d love to check out the scenery around it some day. Looks amazing. Normally I like a trip to the beach, but for those views, I’d make an exception. 🙂

    1. Carrie … There also are mountain views about 50 miles outside of Las Vegas in Mt. Charleston. We have brunch at the lodge there. Just beautiful and cool. A state park is right across the street. 😉

  5. Wow such dramatics . I’m on a canal at mo in Wales on a narrow boat loving it anywhere where there is water. Cherryx

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    1. Little Lilly … Las Vegas, of course, is best known for “The Strip” which features its casinos and entertainment. Outside of Vegas, you can go to the mountains. My brother took us to lunch at Mt. Charleston Lodge and then we walked in the state park across the street. The area is a wonderful contrast to Vegas’s hot temps – about 20 degrees cooler.

      Or, you can go to the desert and see sites such as the Valley of Fire State Park. So colorful. Mother Nature’s wind and water (flooding) makes it look other worldly. Hope you get to see it someday. 😉

  6. Judy that must have been amazing, especially the ancient writings on the rock walls. I have had the pleasure of being in the desert in Sedona, it blew me away, all that red earth and blue, blue sky. One of my precious memories of visiting the USA. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

    1. Kath … My husband and I were there for several hours. The tour group was small – six of us and the guide. It was a wonderful trip, gorgeous vistas.

      My Dad took us out to the desert many years ago and showed us petroglyphs. Very cool! I’m glad you liked the photos.

  7. You pictures of Valley of Fire Park are wonderful, Judy. Some of them remind me very much of the Moab, Utah, and when I’m there I’m in awe of the grandeur. While I feel refreshed and renewed by cool, woodsy and lush surroundings, the dessert landscapes offer their own lessons and inspiration.

    1. Each setting has its own appeal: the desert, cool woodlands, refreshing waterways. I’ve never been to Utah, but I’m betting it has many sites similar to Nevada, Arizona and California. All beautiful.

    1. Amy … The desert is a wild area well worth exploring.

      Thank you for your suggestions on how to “fix” my photos. That’s a suggestion that disperser made as well. I might do that this weekend.

  8. Thanks for the trip to the desert Judy!! 🙂 I grew up watching old western movies with scenes like these (although I believe some of those venues were not in the US) I’ve never seen such a glorious place in real life. I’m not a fan of hot weather conditions (tends to make me feel extremely unwell) the thought of going anywhere near a dessert scares me! But, what an amazing place, and beautifully colourful too. Very glad to hear you had the company of a breeze to keep you a bit cooler!

    When you say ‘carved’ into rocks, do you mean it was literally carved into the rock or a bizarre natural occurrence for an Indian chief to appear in the rock? Either way, he looks quite stunning. It’s amazing what art can occur naturally with rocks in remote places! 🙂

    1. Suzy … The rock’s natural look appears that an Indian Chief was carved into it. I’m sure it looks quite different from another angle.

      I’m not a fan of the heat, either. But there are several really neat places in the dessert. I have wanted to visit the Valley of Fire ever since I saw photos of it. The tour on an air-conditioned bus with a great guide was a wonderful way to see it. There were only four other people on the tour and we quickly made friends. 😉

  9. The stone Native American image like a double “profile” and justly named “nightmare” tangled up rock structures were fantastic, Judy. I like looking at natural formations, seeing how “small” we really are and using my imagination. 🙂

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