Valley of Fire State Park - Summary Page

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This page last updated on 09/11/2017
(Fig. 01) East Entrance
Valley of Fire Cover

(Fig. 02)

General Visitation Info: The view in (Fig. 01) is at the east entrance to the park. If you are new to the park, you should stop at the Visitor Center. Not only are there displays and vast information available, park rangers can provide detailed information on specific locations and hikes. The map in (Fig 02) shows the general location of the park’s most noted points of interest. Winters are mild with temperatures ranging from freezing to 75 degrees. Daily summer highs usually exceed 100 degrees, and may reach 120 degrees. Summer temperatures can vary widely from day to night. Average annual rainfall is four inches, coming in the form of light winter showers and summer thunderstorms. Spring and fall are the preferred seasons for visiting the Valley of Fire. From the perspective of the photographer, allow me to say that you should plan a visit here to obtain optimal sunlight for the part of Valley of Fire that you are interested in taking photos of. Time of year and time of day will have a direct impact on the outcome of your pictures. Try to be at Rainbow Vista between 9 am and noon to capture the direct sunlight on the valley below. After the sun reaches the halfway point in the sky, the shadows are from the west and increasingly obscure more of the area. The Mouse's Tank Trail is best taken closer to noon or when the sun is directly overhead. Because large parts of the trail are surrounded by high canyon walls, they will be in shadow for large parts of the day.
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Due to the number of my visits here, this post was becoming quite long and unwieldy. As a result I decided to turn this page into a SUMMARY page, breaking it down into a series of separate posts by trip and location visited. Below are brief summaries of trip notes for each of my visits noting specific points of interest pertaining to the areas visited, followed by a link to the post containing detailed information and pictures for that particular trip. There is a slide show at the bottom that contains pictures from all of my visits.

  • 09/08/2017 Trip Notes: On this day.  Bob Croke, Jim Herring and I drove to the Valley of Fire State Park to hike the Natural Arches Trail. Even though it was pouring when we left Las Vegas, the skies somewhat cleared by the time we got to the park. Once we reached the trailhead, we began the "trudge" up the very sandy wash. Even though this hike is called the Natural Arches Trail, it is actually the Fire Canyon Wash. By the time we finished this 6 mile hike we were all very tired from walking in the soft sand. On the return we actually spotted three desert bighorn sheep. Click here for pictures and a description of this hike ... Natural Arches Trail VOF - Trip Notes for 09/08/2017.

  • 09/09/2016 Trip Notes: On this day, Bob Croke, Ron Ziance and myself headed out to Valley of Fire to start the first of our end of summer hikes, the Rainbow Vista Trail. This was a relative easy and short hike, however, the big surprise of the day was the spotting of eight Desert Bighorn Sheep grazing along the side of the road. Click here for pictures and description of this great hike ... Rainbow Vista/Fire Canyon Overlook Hikes

  • 04/13/2016 Trip Notes: On this day my friend Jim Herring and myself made a trip to the Valley of Fire state park. While their today we visited and hiked three locations; a location off Atlatl Scenic Loop, Elephant Rock and the White Domes. Our goal at the Atlatl Scenic Loop location was to locate a sandstone formation called the Fire Glow Cave seen in the picture shown here. Click here for pictures and information about this site ... Fire Glow Cave. For our second second stop we hiked a short 1/3-mile at Elephant Rock. Click here for pictures and information about this site ... Elephant Rock. After this we drove to the White Domes for a picnic lunch. After lunch we hiked the 1.2-mile White Domes trail. Click here for pictures and description of this great hike ... White Domes Hike.

  • 02/13/2016 Trip Notes: On this day my hiking partner Robert Croke and myself hiked Valley of Fire's "Top of the World" hike for the second time. For today's hike we were accompanied 24 other hikers on a "guided" tour led by one of the parks' rangers. Our main purpose for signing up for this hike was to find out if there was an easier route to reach the top than the one we had previously hiked back in 2013 (see below). Click here for pictures and a description of this hike ...  Top of The World Hike (VOF) - Trip Notes for 02/13/2016

  • 01/01/2016 Trip Notes: Today I made another visit to the Valley of Fire with hiking partners Bob Croke and Ron Ziance, to hike the Duck Rock Trail. This somewhat strenuous, 2.65-mile loop hike was an unmarked, off-trail route that was guided by a park ranger. After assembling at the hike trailhead off of White Domes Road, a group of more than 25 headed out into a remote desert area on the northern boarder of Valley of Fire State Park. We primarily followed a series of washes and a few old roads. Click here for a link to pictures and a description of this hike … Duck Rock Hike in Valley of Fire

  • E-P103097404/23/2015 Trip Notes: Today I made yet another visit to the Valley of Fire with my neighbor and hiking partner Blake Smith. As it turned out we ended joining the rock-hounds from the Henderson Senior Facility for three stops: The Cabins, Mouse’s Tank and the Fire Wave. When we reached the Trailhead for the Fire Wave hike, six of the rock-hounds decided to join us for this hike. After reaching the Fire Wave, instead of taking the trail back to the trailhead, I decided to “switch things up” by hiking the Kaolin Wash back to mile marker 5 on White Domes Road. Hiking this wash provided some stunning views and turned out to be a great decision. Click here for a link to pictures and a description of this hike … Fire Wave & Gibraltar Rock in Valley of Fire.

  • EP-P106044401/30/2014 Trip Notes: On yet another visit to Valley of Fire State Park with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Senior Facility, Harvey Smith and Robert Croke and I decided to hike the Silica Dome/Fire Canyon at the end of Rainbow Vista Road. Even though it was kind of an overcast day, we were still able to capture a few nice photos of the rather strenuous two mile R/T hike that involved some class 3 scrambling down into Fire Canyon. Check it out here …Silica Dome Hike in Valley of Fire  

  • EP-P105069301/01/2014 Trip Notes: On New Year’s Day I attended the “2014 First Day Guided Hikes” here with my hiking friends, Harvey Smith and Robert Croke. It was just a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the 60’s. Because we arrived early, we hiked Mouse’s Tank and Petroglyph Canyon first on our own. This hike provided us with a little “warm’up”, as well as hundreds of ancient petroglyphs. Check it out here …Mouse's Tank. Our main hike was a guided 5-mile R/T hike to the Pinnacles, with 15 other hikers in the group. Because we still had the morning sun, I was able to get some very colorful pictures like the one shown here. Check it out here … Pinnacles Hike in Valley of Fire.

  • EP-P105054212/13/2013 Trip Notes: Today I made another trip to Valley of Fire to hike the “Top of the World Arch” hike. Having failed on my previous attempt, this time I was armed with a group of map printouts, and was determined to find the arch on this trip. I was joined by Bob Croke, one of my rock-hound hiking partners. Even though it took us longer than expected, we finally made it to the top. Click here to check it out … Valley of Fire Trip Notes for 12/13/2013 Top of the World Arch Hike.

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  • 12/05/2013 Trip Notes: On this trip to the Valley of Fire State Park with the Rock-hounds from the Henderson Senior Facility, I hit two spots that I had been to before; a place called The Cabins and a hike to a location called, The Top of the World Arch Hike. While five of us tried to find the trail to the Top of the World Arch, the remainder of the group hiked various locations including the Fire Wave and Mouse’s Tank (scroll down to links below). Before leaving the park for our journey home, we all enjoyed lunch in the picnic area next to The Cabins (again, scroll down to link below).

    Link to … Valley of Fire Trip Notes for 12/05/2013 (Top of the World Arch)

  • E-P104000801/01/2013 Trip Notes: On New Year’s day my friend Harvey Smith and I drove to Valley of Fire for two guided hikes; one to the Fire Wave and one labeled as the “Top of the World Hike” along White Domes Road. This was actually my second visit to the Fire Wave, but got to hike more of the surrounding area on this hike. For the second hike we arrived early at the designated trailhead location and decided to try the hike on our own. Unfortunately we headed out on what we thought was the trail only to discover that it did not lead us to the top of the ridge line that we had picked out.  In spite of ths, we still had a very nice 2-1/2 hour hike through some gorgeous desert, dry washes and narrow ravines that led to the base of the mountains.
    Link to … Valley of Fire Trip Notes for 01/01/2013 (Fire Wave & Gibraltar Rock).
    Link to ...  Valley of Fire Trip Notes for 01/01/2013 (White Dome Rd Hike)

  • E-P1030662-212/01/2012 Trip Notes: This visit was just quick tour with visiting company that included stopping at the parks most noted sites. Probably the most notable thing about this visit was the spotting of a small herd of Desert Bighorn Sheep just before entering the park’s west entrance. (refer to the map in (Fig. 02) above).
    Link to ... Valley of Fire - Trip Notes for 12-01-2012

  • E-P113003206/28/2012 Trip Notes: On this trip to the Valley of Fire State Park with my neighbor Marc Resnick, we hit two spots that neither of us had been to before; a place called The Cabins and a hike to a location called the Fire Wave. (refer to the map in (Fig. 02) above for their locations).
    Link to ... Valley of Fire - Trip Notes for 06-28-2012
  • E-P110069503/22/2012 Trip Notes: After a hike to the Buffington Pockets in the Muddy Mountains, our group drove through the park, making a potty stop at the visitor center on our way home. Just after entering the park from its western entrance, we came upon a lone, rather emaciated Desert Bighorn Sheep.
    Link to ... Valley of Fire Trip Notes for 03-22-2012    
  • E-P108035403/14/2012 Trip Notes: On today’s visit we lunched with my sister Bonnie and her husband Paul in the picnic area overlooking Rainbow Vista. This is without a doubt the most colorful area within the park and should not be missed.
    Link to ... Valley of Fire - Trip Notes for 03/14/2012 (Rainbow Vista)

  • E-P108037711/13/2011 Trip Notes: On this visit with Connie's brother Rick, we tried to hit as many of the well known picture taking spots as we could fit in. Among others, we stopped at Silica Dome, Rainbow Vista, Atlatl Rock, Arch Rock and Elephant Rock. (refer to the map in (Fig. 02) above for their locations).
    Link to ...Valley of Fire - Trip Notes for 11/13/2011 (Atlatl Rock, Elephant Rock, etc.)
Rather than create a separate slide-show for each of these visits, I have combined pictures from each visit into the single slide-show below.

In an effort to add a little color to this page, I decided to group some of the plant life pictures I've captured over time. For some unknown reason, I have yet to visit here during the spring months when the plant life would be most prominent. Even still, my various visits have provided me with very interesting rock faces as well a variety of plant life. This coming year I think I will make a concerted effort to visit during the wetter months of spring in hope of capturing more wildflowers and plant life.
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E-IMG_3595 E-IMG_3592
IMG_3558 E-P1100610
E-P1080362 IMG_3591
E-P1080380-2 E-IMG_3284
E-P1080309 IMG_3583

(OPTION 1) Each show is designed to run automatically in place, without leaving the current browser window. If the show is not already running, just click the large "Play" button in the middle of the picture and let it run.

(OPTION 2) Running the cursor over the picture being shown will PAUSE the show and bring up a navigation bar at the bottom of the slideshow window with Pause, Forward and Back buttons, allowing you to start, stop or manually forward or back up pictures one at a time.
Slideshow Description: With additions for recent visits, this slideshow now contains 232 pictures that I have taken on nine different visits to the Valley of Fire State Park.