Theresa standing in front of the red rock at the Valley of Fire Visitors Center

Valley of Fire is the oldest state park in Nevada and was dedicated in 1935.  The park got its name from the fire red sandstone formations, created from giant sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs.

 

 

Timm cooking out at the campground

The red rock is quite prominent in this 34,880-acre park and surrounded our campsite.  The bright red rock provides a sharp contrast to the desolate desert floor.  Unfortunately these photos simply don’t capture the same intense color as seen by our naked eye.

 

 

Rocks contain all colors of the rainbow

In addition to red, the other colors of the rainbow also appear in the rocks at Valley of Fire.  Many rocks are striped with colors and weathered into strange shapes.

 

 

Looks like a car commercial

The colors are so unreal that they look fake, as if an artist went crazy with a paintbrush.  We often could not believe our eyes.  By the way, doesn’t this scene looks like a car commercial?

 

 

Bighorn sheep

These grazing bighorn sheep were some of the first large mammals (besides deer) that we’ve seen on our trip.

 

 

Shadow surveying the land

We took a little-known side trail and enjoyed our lunch in complete isolation in a beautiful multi-colored canyon.  As always, we climbed the nearest tall hill, because we love heights and seek the best view.

 

 

Theresa and Shadow walking along the White Dome Trail

The dogs enjoyed the hike, even though it was a bit warm (they’re still wearing their winter fur coats, after all).  The colors on this White Dome Trail kept changing as we walked along.  Here you can see white, purple and yellow, like you might see in a watercolor painting.

 

 

Crazy rocks

The rock shapes in the Valley of Fire are often inexplicable.  We’d stop and ponder what forces of water and wind were required to produce the odd shapes and textures.

 

 

Theresa walking the dogs on the road next to a towering wall of orange rock

This park was unlike anything we’ve ever seen before… one jaw-dropping view after another.  Here Theresa is walking the dogs along the road next to a massive red wall that stretches for miles.  It’s puzzling how the rock cleaved into 30-story vertical slats like a giant’s fence.

 

 

Theresa and the dogs walking along striped rock

This hike to the Fire Wave was especially delightful.  Little black rounded volcanic rocks provided a nice visual contrast to the long streaks of red.

 

 

Theresa, Shadow and Darby sitting above the Fire Wave

The red rock produced a fine red dust that got everywhere and stained our clothes.  But that didn’t stop us from plopping down on the rock and enjoying the view.

 

 

Theresa and Shadow walking down a striped dome

We love hikes that have no set trail, when you can walk anywhere your heart and feet will take you.

 

 

Timm and Darby sitting on the Fire Wave

Here Timm and Darby stopped to enjoy the mind-bending swirl of colors on the Fire Wave.

 

 

Chuckwalla lizard

We saw a bunch of lizards in the cracks along the Fire Wave.  Chuckwallas as shown above are a stocky wide-bodied lizard with a flattened and prominent belly.  When threatened, the chuckwalla will scoot into a rock crack and inflate its belly, wedging itself so tightly that its attacker cannot extract it for a meal.

 

 

Silica Dome and Fire Canyon

The giant white formations in the park such as the Silica Dome shown above are made of almost pure silica.  Silicon dioxide or silica is known for its hardness and is used to make glass and fiber optics.  Fire Canyon to the right is caused by iron in the rock to produce the rust-red color.  The Silica Dome is much taller than you might expect… can you see the two people standing on its peak?

 

 

The Beehives

The beehives are caused mostly by wind erosion.  These 30-foot tall rock mounds start as sand dunes and fossilize over time.  They duly represent the amazing colors and odd shapes that make up the Valley of Fire.

>> Next Stop: Vermillion Cliffs National Monument >>

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