Valley of Fire

December 22, 2015 at 5:34 am (Nature, Nature photography, Nevada, Southwest Landscapes) (, )


One of the most beautiful Western landscapes I’ve ever seen is in a Nevada state park that I would have missed if I hadn’t exchanged a little trail banter with a fellow hiker at Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas this past May.


The Valley of Fire State Park is aptly named, and the “fire” really shows its mettle at last light or in the day’s first kiss of sun.


Layers of mustard rock alternate with burnt sienna, rust, and gunmetal gray in an amazing palette of color and shapes. The day I was there, a wedding party was getting its photo taken with the rainbow landscape as a backdrop.


The park has a wonderful visitor center, and they set out birdseed for the quail, antelope squirrels, and other birds. (Stay tuned – critters and petroglyphs in the next post.) The view above can be seen from there.


There are two lovely campgrounds here as well.  I parked myself at the Atlatl Campground, my site nudged up to cozy red rocks.


The other campground was near the natural arch (below).



You don’t have to hike to see many of these magnificent vistas.


The area below is called the Beehives, for obvious reasons.




I did the Fire Wave trail early in the morning.


The swirly layers remind me of the Vermillion Cliffs in Arizona, which I have never had the pleasure to visit.


It’s a fairly easy trail, and the rocks provide good grip on the shoes.


The stone cabins below were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps as shelter for travelers.


The park is in the Mojave Desert and can get very very hot in summer.  Because it’s about an hour away from Vegas, it’s also a very popular spot, and some of the parking areas can be full on weekends.


But as photographers know, the best time to be anywhere in nature is very early, and very late in the day.





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Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at


  1. mbkircus said,

    What stupendous pictures of a remarkable place. It’s now on my bucket list.

  2. Tracy Becker said,

    I am adding it to my bucket list too.

  3. Alexa said,

    🙂 Stunning pictures!

  4. bluebrightly said,

    I came across this in a search – we’re on our way to LV tomorrow and will visit Valley of Fire Friday – your photos are terrific!

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