A great desert park to visit, that isn’t actually on fire.

Quick Stats

The Valley of Fire is the largest state park in Nevada covering 36,000 acres. About 1 hour away from Las Vegas it can be visited as a day trip.
This viewpoint is called Rainbow Vista due to the various colors. The Valley of Fire state park is not only the largest state park but also the first state park in Nevada, created in 1935.
Back when the park was first created, about 9000 people a year would visit. They built these 3 stone cabins so people passing through would have a place to stay. Now the park sees over 200,000 visitors a year and the three little stone cabins don’t really meet the demand anymore.
Despite the heat warning sign, we decided to go for a short hike on the White Domes trail.
It is a hike in the desert after all. So, there is sand, the going isn’t exactly easy.
This area of the park has been the backdrop for many movies. It is often used for scenes that take place on Mars. Total Recall and Transformers were both filmed here. This location was also used as the planet Veridian III in Star Trek.
Not too far away is this area called Fire Canyon. So why is this park called Valley of the Fire? It is because when the sun shines down on the red rock it can look like the landscape is on fire. During our visit the red color would also be reflected on the clouds making for a red-looking sky. The red color in the rock is simply due to high concentrations of iron ore deposits or manganese for the black rocks.
Traditional summit selfie!
As we head toward the park entrance there is a bit more vegetation and a campground. This area only receives 4” of rain each year which typically all falls at once during a single summer thunderstorm.
Just outside the park we stumbled across this oasis in the desert. The perfect place for a swim to cool off. The sign indicates that the water contains Naegleria Fowleri which is a one celled organism. If it enters your body, it can lead to a fatal infection. Perhaps I’ll hold off on the swim and just use the hotel pool instead.
Bonus picture. This enormous truck is what we were provided with when we reserved a small compact vehicle. America!


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *