A friend told me about Valley of Fire Nevada State Park and insisted that we visit the next time we went to Vegas. So we rented a car, packed up a few essentials and took off around 9:00 am after breakfast. The weather at the end of February hovered at 56-65 degrees perfect for driving and hiking.
Valley of Fire State Park is 55 miles north-east of Las Vegas, but don’t be fooled by the brochure. It’s a two-hour drive. There are two ways to get there from the Strip, and we chose the journey through the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. There aren’t many services on the way, so stock up before you go.
Our List of Trip Essentials
- A friend or loved one. Beautiful experiences are meant to be shared.
- A rental car- cheaper than driving our own at $19 per day.
- Bottles of water, provided by our timeshare, Diamond Resorts – Polo Towers.
- A bag of mixed nuts and fruit, mixed and packed at home from large bags of nuts and dried fruit from Costco or any healthy snack.
- Sunscreen SPF 50 or better.
- A pass for National Parks, which saves a lot of money if you remember to bring it. This admits you to the National Recreation Area but not the State Park. They give you a large map and park newspaper which we had dog-eared before we left.
- Change to put the $10 fee in the envelope at Valley of Fire State Park. It’s better than getting a $250 fine for skipping out.
- Your camera or cell phone.
- The intelligence not to take a selfie on the edge of a cliff.
Pictures from the Valley of Fire
We entered from the East. It’s always good to take a record shot or two to mark the beginning of your trip. There are plenty of photo-ready views. Just add yours and your friends’ faces to make them perfect.
The lighting isn’t perfect when you shoot into the sun, but the rocks weren’t moving so you can alter them in Photoshop or do what I did and settle for less than perfect lighting.
When I was growing up all the new homes came with floor to ceiling picture windows in the living room. The view from our Indiana home never had a picture like this one outside!
From there we drove up the two lane highway no farther than a mile to the next turn off to see the seven sisters. Seriously, I’m sure one of the sisters was either an alien or a president. Which do you think?
I jumped out of the car to get the sister’s better side. I’m pretty sure she’s an old man.
He must be tired. His eyes droop. He needs a turtle neck sweater to cover his neck wrinkles. His tight-lipped visage makes him look hangry. He’s been in a few too many fights and the report from his nose is that he lost most of them. I moved in for a better look.
His ear is missing. My husband tells me that he likes not hearing. Do you think he cut off his own ears? Seven sisters – hmmm. Maybe he paints in his spare time.
Up close I noticed that his skin could use some treatments. I’ve got some 110 SPF sunscreen that might help. It won’t cure old age spots, but it might prevent additional ones. It could soothe the crackling. The summer sun in Nevada is brutal. Take a tip from him and don’t forget to reapply your own sunscreen.
At our next stop, we found some animal habitats but not too many animals. This one looked like a brick of red Swiss cheese. Waiting around the corner was a museum and another loo with a view.
Inside the museum, you could watch videos and study the flora and fauna or hike outside. In the distance sat a toad obviously waiting for a kiss. I think he might have been waiting quite a while. He looked petrified.
You couldn’t take a bad picture in this state park. I dare you to try. Feel free to share yours in the comment section or on my Facebook page, Always Write.
You can get too carried away with information shots. Do you even read them while you are there let alone in the thirty seconds you spend reading a blog post? I admit I read only the headline before whipping out my phone to snap the photo.
This is as far west as we went, so there is a lot more to explore in this park, but we wanted to backtrack and see a museum at the Lost City in the National Recreation Area. We returned to Las Vegas via I 15.
Visitor Information Center & Loos
The park is open from sunrise to sunset unless you camp in designated areas. Notice that there are no drones allowed, and no off-road motorized vehicles. We ran into Adam Bautz, a guide who conducts tours of the park for private parties of all skill levels. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org 702-624-1050. This is somewhere we want to come again and spend more time.