Four years ago we visited Valley of Fire State Park and it is one of many places we have always wanted to revisit. We had a choice of two routes from where we were staying. One took us through the crazy Las Vegas traffic and the other route took us through the peaceful Lake Mead National Recreation Area. I think you can guess which route we took.
Valley of Fire is Nevada’s first and largest state park and gets its name from the red sandstone formations. These formations were formed by great shifting sand dunes during the dinosaur age 150 million years ago. When the sun hits the rock formations they appear to be on fire. There are also rock formations of limestone, shale and conglomerates.
Many movies have been filmed in Valley of Fire including “Viva Las Vegas”, “Total Recall” and “Transformers” as well as tv shows and commercials. On this formation “Star Trek:Generations” filmed the death of Captain Kirk.
It was a less than perfect day to visit the park but we were on a tight schedule. It was cloudy which made for less than ideal picture taking to showcase the beautiful colors, but also extremely windy and downright cold. I am usually not one to bundle up much when hiking, but even I put on a jacket.
We had read about a hike called “Fire Wave” and was said to be the most popular hike in the park. We had missed it on our last visit and wanted to do it this time. The hike wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It seems during the entire time we were either trudging uphill or downhill through sand or walking across rocks. I really don’t do well with rocks. You can see in the pictures people on the rocks we had to walk across on the trail.
We reached the destination which was supposed to be rock formations that looked like waves. I guess I built up an image of something spectacular because the real thing was a bit of a letdown. Maybe it was the cloudy skies, the cold and the wind. By the time we trudged back across the rocks and sand, the wind had picked up even more and it was cold. We had planned on doing three hikes but by the time we got back to the car we pretty much looked at each other and said one hike is enough today. Let’s save something for next time. The thought of getting back out of the car into the wind and cold just wasn’t appealing.
Despite the clouds we did enjoy driving around the park looking at the beautiful red formations. Not even clouds, wind and cold could change that amazing experience.
As we made our way home through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area we drove through some pretty heavy rain showers. We were very thankful the rain held off until we were on the way home.
Next up: A busy few days in Las Vegas