Monday, November 10, 2008

Road Trip 2008: Valley of Fire

Agnieszka and I started our road trip in Las Vegas. After renting a car at the airport, we went to Trader Joe's and REI to buy food and some other items that we thought we would need to survive the coming two weeks on the road. Four hours later we were heading north-east on the highway 169 to Valley of Fire SP, where we planned to spend our first night.

As the name suggests, rocks forming the Valley of Fire have vivid red color and when reflecting the sun's rays they appear to be on fire. During the summer months, it is also very hot there, which makes you feel as you would be on fire too...

Both Agnieszka and I liked the Valley of Fire a lot, even though we were able to go there only for short hikes as heat was unbearable... Beware that trail markings are very poor there. We managed to wander off the Arrowhead Trail and after several unsuccessful attempts to find a shortcut leading to our car, we were forced to backtrack our way. That took us a lot of time and was not much fun with temperatures exceeding 110F (40C).

Practical info:

1. There are two campgrounds with total of 51 sites in the Valley of Fire. It is possible to reserve place there in advance, but it does not seem to be necessary. Aga and I arrived there on Saturday late afternoon and even though we had no reservation, we had no problem getting a nice site for our tent. In principle, campgrounds have showers, though they were not working when we were there. Drinking water can be obtained next to the visitor center.

2. It takes less than 2h to get to the Valley of Fire from Las Vegas, and from there it takes around 3-3.5h to get to Zion NP.

Small selection of the photos that I took in the Valley of Fire:

On the Hwy 169:

Unexpected oasis on the way to the Valley of Fire:

Rock formations next to the east entrance to the park:

Atlatl Rock with Anasazi rock art:

Resting in the shade:

Arch Rock:


Valley of Fire during the night:

Tourists' cabins from 1930's:

Elephant Rock: