Press "Enter" to skip to content

Valley of Fire

Las Vegas Trip 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012

After another night at our hotel in Las Vegas we were up early and on our way out of the city and over to Valley of Fire State Park. I was looking forward to visiting this amazing little area and we were planning on spending the full day here. Even though a full day was nowhere near enough time to explore the whole park, we managed to see a lot and took many photos.

The sun came up just as we were nearing the entrance to the park. I loved the way the light was striking the mountains as we drove through this area, so I had to quickly stop and compose a shot.

Golden Morning by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Driving into the golden morning light.

Fire Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Road Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finally arriving at the park I quickly went searching for some arches near the entrance…

Arch & Tiny Moon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

…including the famous Windstone Arch.

Windstone Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As we drove further into the park we came across this old bighorn sheep along the road.

Old Bighorn by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look from the side.

Tasty by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Our next stop was at Atlatl Rock. The main petroglyph panel was half in the sun and half in the shadows, so we decided to visit again later in the day. I did take a quick photo of the stairway up to the main panel before leaving.

Atlatl Rock Stairs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s an interesting petroglyph of a foot found on the main panel.

Hanging Foot by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Our next stop was at Arch Rock just a little ways down the road.

Arch Rock by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After looping through the campground we stopped by the Visitor’s Center where I took this photo of ‘The Scream’

The Scream by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When we were done at the Visitor’s Center we took the short hike to Mouse’s Tank through Petroglyph Canyon. I knew there were some petroglyphs along the way, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there quite a few here. It seemed that everywhere I looked there were new petroglyphs to be found!

Look closely for the turtle or tortoise in the photo below.

Turtle Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Daisy Chain by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

That looks like one tall ladder in the middle of this panel.

Tall Ladder Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This alcove was just packed with petroglyphs all over the place. Click on the photo for a larger view to see them all.

Petroglyph Cove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Elk Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were a few petroglyphs located on this small arch. You can see some others in the background, too.

Petroglyphs on an Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Hiking back to the car through Petroglyph Canyon.

Petroglyph Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before leaving the area we spotted this panel of petroglyphs nearby which led us to a few other panels.

Roadside Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Bird Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Men & Spirals by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Upper Panels by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Back on the road again…

Road Through a Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Great colors and scenery no matter where you look.

Valley of Fire View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Striped Rock by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We stopped for a quick hike through Pink Canyon.

Pink Canyon View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Pink Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We climbed out of the wash to visit the Fire Wave. We didn’t stick around long since I was planning on returning here for sunset.

Swirls by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After leaving the park for some lunch in nearby Overton we were soon back again and ready to explore some more.

Park Road by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

On our drive back into the park I made the short hike up to Elephant Arch.

Elephant Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Then we stopped by The Cabins.

The Cabins by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I even found another petroglyph panel near The Cabins.

Cabin Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This rock nearby sure looks like a large goldfish to me.

Goldfish Rock by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Then it was back to Atlatl Rock to search for more petroglyphs…and there were a lot of them!

Atlatl Boulder by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Medicine Wheels Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

On our way to the White Dome Trail I stopped to search for Crazy Hill. The colors here are just amazing! They would probably look even better if these photos were taken under the harsh afternoon sun.

Crazy Colors by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Color Stripes by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We finally made it to the White Dome Trail and hiked down through the slot canyon.

White Domes Slot by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

At the end of the slot canyon was this small area of colorful sandstone.

Small Slot by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finishing the White Dome Loop it was back to the Fire Wave to catch the sunset.

Fire Wave Sunset by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The last light of the day touches the very tip of the Fire Wave.

Sun-Tipped Wave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We had a great day exploring Valley of Fire and I can’t wait to get back there again in the future!

>> Valley of Fire Photo Gallery


  1. Jamie Zartman
    Jamie Zartman April 17, 2012

    Superb photos! From the first serigraphy like photo to the color stripes, and great clouds and sky to boot. I am struck by the diversity and yet communality of the petros.

  2. Jens
    Jens May 17, 2012

    Hey Randy. So nice to read the story. I remember shooting sunset at the firewave that evening. Have a great time. Cheers, Jens

Leave a Reply