Thursday, May 24, 2012

Valley of Fire State Park and on to Beatty, NV…

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Valley of Fire State Park NV 079One last visit to the Strip and one to the Fremont Street Experience with our Blogger friends Vic and Pam provided us with enough of the lights and action for a while. We sure enjoyed our stay at the Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort but I felt it was time to go and look for some peace and solitude. I am pretty sure we will find plenty of that at Death Valley National Monument. But before we left Vegas we had one more highly recommended spot to go to… Valley of Fire State Park!

This park is a long hour drive northeast of Las Vegas. The drive on highway 15 is somewhat boring and monotonous but once you turn on state road 169 you can tell you are headed for something spectacular. The slow drive through the Indian territory eventually leads to the  entrance sign to the state park.

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Valley of Fire State Park NV 018At the entrance we were welcomed by a pleasant Ranger who provided a map and receipt for our $10 non-resident day trip fee.  As we drove in we were met with the cacophony of reddish hues that tantalized us to the core. There are places in the USA that are like no other place and there are places in Valley of Fire State Park that are like no other world! It is no wonder that the movie Total Recall shot their Mars scenes here and that Star Trek’s Captain Kirk fell to his death in this park. It is other worldly on so many planes…

We took several hikes but in the near 100 degree heat we stuck to the shorter trails and drank plenty of water. We were able to see most of the hotspots in the park (pun intended)including the bee hives, seven sisters, elephant rock, mouse tank and lots and lots of petroglyphs. One can only imagine what it must have been like for the Indians here eking an existence in such an unforgiving space while taking time to artistically render images representing who knows what… It is fun to look at their drawings and try to guess what they were thinking.

Valley of Fire State Park NV 037All this photographer’s eye candy was at every turn but the biggest highlight of all was when we stopped to check out a spot for lunch.  As we were exploring I heard a noise and not 30 feet from me was a Desert Big Horn Sheep who had come up over a rise!  Once he spotted me he nervously moved away at a quick pace… but not before we both snapped off a few good pictures. Valley of Fire State Park NV 001Bighorns can live up to 15 years and dominant males may have horns that weigh up to thirty pounds!  They can go without visiting water for long periods of time by getting adequate moisture from their food in the winter and will visit water holes every three or so days in the summer to remainValley of Fire State Park NV 025 hydrated. Most of us have heard about the head butting they do and it is reported that they have been seen to go at each other for up to 24 hours at a time!!! Makes my head hurt just thinking about it!!! This was a day we both really enjoyed and this State Park was definitely a Road Treat!

The next morning had us packing up and making the 120 or so mile drive north to the town of Beatty, Nevada where we will take up residence for about four days while we explore the Death Valley National Monument. We are now camped in a definitely no-frills park, Beatty RV Park,  but we are in a level sight with 50amps and water so we have all we need to explore Death Valley…


  1. The only time we've been to this park, we had limited time so didn't do much exploration; looking forward to longer trip in the future - we'll go when it's not so hot :-)))

  2. WOW...Big Horn Sheep. We looked and looked for one when we were there. They are tuff to spot in that terrain. Great job!

    Do not miss Scotty's Castle. Our tour guide was awesome! What a treat out in the desert.

  3. That's a fantastic picture of the big horned sheep. What a great surprise for you. This park looks like a place I'd love to visit at some much lower temperature time of the year.


  4. Ooh, a Big Horned Sheep! Neat-o. Good catch.

  5. Cool photos....we'll have to head to that park next time we are out there. But the heat is so awful, maybe we'll just be content that you took us there. :-)

  6. Nice look and photo of the Desert Big Horn Sheep!!! We have never been there...YET.

  7. So glad you made it here. I would like to go back to this spot and camp but not in the summer, just too hot for me. :)

  8. What a treat to see the bighorn sheep and a great photo to boot.
    Fantastic- putting this place on the list.