Another Fabulous, Low-Cost Trip Minutes from Las Vegas

Valley of Fire State Park

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.

Lake Mead National Recreational Area, Nevada
Lake Mead National Recreational Area

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
  • 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

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
This is what the Australians call a loo with a view!

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.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Welcome to my new home.

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.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
The picture window inside if the rock home

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!

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
The house next door – a little tighter, but shelter from a storm.

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?

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
One of the Seven Sisters

I jumped out of the car to get the sister’s better side. I’m pretty sure she’s an old man.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Not his best side

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.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Oh dear!

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.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
This looked like a brick of Swiss Cheese. Mouse’s Tank wasn’t far away. (Mouse was an outlaw.)

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.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Loo with a view # two

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.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Prince Charming kept a lookout amid creosote bush, burro bush and brittlebrush.

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.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Information

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.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Fingerlings?

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

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

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 adam@outdoortraveltours.com 702-624-1050. This is somewhere we want to come again and spend more time.

Author: Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. For thirty-five years, I lived in the most beautiful area in Central Valley of California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains minutes from the Sequoia National Park. As a child I moved from Indiana to Oregon. With my first husband I moved from Oregon to Colorado to California. Every time we moved, it hurt so much to leave friends. I never wanted to move again. After Mark passed, I married again. I told Vince that I could never budge from my roots in California. He said he loved the high desert. I don't think he ever thought he would realize his dream. In November, 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

25 thoughts on “Another Fabulous, Low-Cost Trip Minutes from Las Vegas”

  1. I’ve read every word with a smile on my face. Boy, are you good at this. Thank you for taking me along on this trip. We don’t travel any more; so it was especially appreciated. The “loo with the view” especially caught my interest, after, of course, all the description of the Sisters/Old man. What a hoot!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe one of the sisters was a transexual??? I loved this park for the short 2 hours we were there for my SIL wedding. I do want to go back and explore. It just wasn’t on our agenda that trip or when we went back to get married a year later. I’d love for it to be a day trip for us, but I don’t think I could get Frank to ever move out there. If we went west, he would want to be in the Seattle area. Um! NO! It rains too much there! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seattle is lovely, but it does rain a fair amount there. Like lots. You get used to it, and either stay inside a lot or get wet. 🙂 I don’t know about being transsexual. I think their lives were set in stone! The best they could ever do was to chip away at it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Seattle was our cancelled trip from last year. I don’t like getting wet so I would be in all the time. No thanks! I still want to visit. I’d love to hike out to the Dungeness Spit Lighthouse and maybe even stay and be a keeper for the week. Frank and I have talked about doing that after covid. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If you go to Seattle in the summer, you won’t get so wet! Except in the rainforest area, it stays pretty warm and dry. As many times as I visited Washington in my 20s to 40s, I never went to the Dungeness Spit Lighthouse. What a find. I had to take a break and read the history of it. Thanks for sharing. If I ever get back up there, I’ll have to check it out.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The new one arrives on the 15th. Vince’s computer is sooooooo slow. I think I’m going to get him a new one while they are on sale. I lost Photoshop Elements, so I decided to give Photoshop and Lightshop and Bridge a try. His computer is so slow that installing them and trying to learn anything frustrates me at 11:45 pm. I’m going to finish answering my lovely comments, then go to bed. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Oh man! That is rough. You got off with us and then stood up. Well, if it is any consolation…I lost my SD card yesterday at the Organic Farm. It was in my pocket and it must have fallen out. It had lots of photos on it from our last trip to St. Marks that I hadn’t moved yet. Plus some others. I have been so depressed since yesterday. It was even worse because we went to a state park afterwards and saw 4 new species and I had awesome shots but no camera because I had no card. I’m feeling your pain only my photos are irreplaceable. I’ve ordered 2 new cards that will be here tomorrow from Best Buy! 🙂

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          3. I’m so sorry! My computer came but I couldn’t sign on to my one drive account for some reason, so right now my files are all gone, too. They locked me out until tomorrow.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I hope they can recover all your files. Especially after you just went through them. OneDrive should still be there because it is on the cloud. Mine are gone unless someone finds it and turns it in. 🙂

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