Sunday, September 5, 2010

Valley of Fire August 25, 2010

Classic scenery in the park

I arrived at Valley of Fire State Park late on the night of August 24 after driving down from Ely, Nevada, on State route 93. I spent a sleepless night at Atlal campground. The nighttime temperature was in the mid 80s and at 2am I woke up with my mouth parched from the dry desert air. The next day I woke up at 6 am hoping to see some of the park before it got hot. On this particular day the temperature was well above 90 by 9am in the morning. It would be best to visit the park in the Fall, Winter or Spring to avoid the high temps.
Location: Valley of Fire is located 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas off of I-15. Take exit 75 and drive 10 miles to the entrance. For a day pass vehicles need to pay $10. To camp the fee is $20 per night.
Hstory: The park has been visited by prehistoric peoples since about 300 B.C. These indians included the Basket people, Anazasi Pueblo and Southern Paiute. The indian cultures used the park for hunting, food gathering and religious ceremonies. Archaeologists have found evidence of temporary settlements because, the inhospitable climate would have made permanent settlement difficult to impossible. Today the park has many visible petroglyphs including those in Petroglyph canyon and at Atlal rock. (Remember to never vandalize any of these artifacts). Valley of Fire is Nevada's first state park commissioned in 1935.
Things to do: Valley of Fire is a photographers' dream with colorful sandstone and rock formations all over. Likewise, a visitor can visit many wonderful sites including Petroglyph canyon, Rainbow point, or Elephant Rock. Inquire at the visitor's center for a park map.
Plant and animal life: The main plant life in Valley of Fire is Creosote bush, Burro bush and Brittle bush. Animals a visitor might see include the Desert tortoise, Spotted skunk, Coyote, and Black-tailed jackrabbit. Remember the Desert tortoise is endangered so do not disturb it.
The following series of photos were taken in Petroglyph canyon on August 25.

This photo shows the damage of a careless tourist

Photo showing rock formations in Valley of Fire