After a couple of fun days in Utah visiting our friend Andrea and her family, my brother had the awesome idea of going to see a Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. While doing some research of other things to do that direction, I came across the Valley of Fire State Park, which is located in Clark County, Nevada, about an hours drive northeast from Las Vegas.
My only regret visiting this place, is that we didn’t give ourselves more time! This place is absolutely breathtaking, and one could easily spend an entire day or two exploring. We only had a few hours, but we definitely worked hard to make the most of them!
This is a fun photo opp at the entrance to the park. 🙂
Before hitting up a couple of the shorter hikes, we first stopped at Elephant Rock, which is easy to view right from the road. There is also a .25 hike to it coming from the other side.
The first hike we did was the Mouse’s Tank Trail. While hiking along, we saw a small gathering of people watching something intently. As we walked up, a man quietly pointed toward the cliff wall where we saw Bighorn sheep! I have never seen one of these in the wild, and they were so beautiful! They seemed pretty used to people, because they just casually went about their business like they didn’t know they had an audience. There were two adults and one baby Bighorn Sheep. They were so majestic, and I just couldn’t get enough! If we weren’t on such a tight time crunch, I could have watched them for hours.
Mouse’s Tank is a natural basin in the rock where water collects after each rainfall. Along the trail we walked by several areas covered in prehistoric petroglyphs. Mouse’s Tank is actually named for a Southern Paiute Indian whose name was Little Mouse. In the 1890’s, he used Valley of Fire as a hideout after he was accused of killing two prospectors.
As we walked back toward the trail head, or Bighorn Sheep friends were still hanging out, so I had to take a few more photos. 🙂
The next hike we did was the Fire Wave hike. I had looked up photos of this hike, and was really excited for his one! The sandy pathway takes you to a stunning sandstone wave with beautiful candy-cane like layers of reds and beige.
On our way out out of the park I got a shot of balancing rock.
This is Arch Rock, which can be viewed from Scenic Loop Road.
What an incredible place! Devin and I both agreed we needed to come back when we had more time to spend, but are very grateful for the beauty that we got to enjoy with the time we had. Next stop….VEGAS!