If you only had a couple hours to visit Valley of Fire just driving the roads would provide an awesome show of twisted, stripped, and colorful rock formations all vying for attention. The park’s brochure encourages several short and easy hikes that provide more intimacy with the rock.
It’s a toss up which trail is my favorite. White Domes was the longest and a pleasant loop with teasing side canyons winding through dry washes and climbing only a few rocky steps. I was a little disappointed in Fire Wave, maybe because of the hype, but the landscape surrounding it screams for more exploration. The highlight was seeing so many petroglyphs both at Atlatl Rock and along Mouse’s Tank trail. There’s sure to be a whole lot more out there.
A young(er) couple took off to climb the rock challenge. I’m OK with watching them and not drawn to follow. Many animal/human trails weave across the land hopefully avoiding the fragile cryptobiotic soils.
What more can I say about Valley of Fire State Park. It’s incredible! I want to go back. Don’t limit yourself to just the park’s recommended trails. Being only an hour’s drive from Las Vegas it has pros and cons making the park busy yet providing a natural area to escape the concrete jungle.
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