Thursday, March 19, 2009

Valley Of Fire

It's Spring Break for my son Paul, but because of his work schedule we needed to stay close to home. Since moving to Southern Utah 2 1/2 years ago, we've been trying to become more acquainted with our area. Today we took a day trip to Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire is the oldest State Park in Nevada and is located about 50 miles North East of Las Vegas. We had never been here before and were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the park is, especially in the Spring time.
Our first hike took us to Elephant Rock. You can see most of the area by car, and the hikes we went on were short and easy to do. The park covers 36,000 acres of land.
Iron Oxide (rust) colors the rocks red. The black is called "Desert Varnish" composed of manganese and other oxides.
We love viewing the Anasazi petroglyphs of Southern Utah. No one knows the exact meanings of the symbols, leaving many of us to guess the intent. Mr. Cactus and Paul thought this one came from an ancient reality program called "The Biggest Loser". (Which makes one wonder: did they have diet programs way back when?)
Me and Mr. Cactus. He says the rocks speak to him.
The rocks are made of sandstone, which is soft and easily erodible. The holes are created from the wind and rain.
While hiking "Mouses Tank" I saw formations that looked more like Elephant Rock than Elephant Rock. Is it just me, or does it look that way to you?

When I wasn't seeing Elephants I was seeing animal skulls. This was even more fun than making pictures out of cloud formations.
I have been wanting to visit Valley of Fire ever since we moved into our new home. I had purchased a picture of Atlatl Rock that hangs over my kitchen table, and I knew it was taken here.
We were wondering how difficult it would be to find the exact location of Atlatl Rock. Did our photographer have to climb deep canyons to make it to this site?

Actually it was right off the road with stairs leading right up to the petroglyphs

My pictures have almost the same angle as the professional one.
I was so happy! How cool are these? Some of these petroglyphs have existed for over 4,000 years. It's estimated that the Basket Maker people and Anasazi Pueblo Indians lived here from 300 BC to 1150 AD
If you are visiting in the Las Vegas area and have some extra time, I'd highly recommend a visit to Valley of Fire. That is, if your visit is in the winter, spring or fall. I hear summer temps reach up to 120 degrees, and really does feel like a Valley of Fire during that time.


Sherri said...

Your pictures are gorgeous! Did you stop in at the little museum as well? They have some amazing pottery and baskets in there!

Dawn said...

So happy you enjoyed our back yard!! Come back and visit again...

Cathie in UT said...

Passed by this place many times and looks like DH and I need to make a stop the next time...he will love to see some new to him petroglyphs!

Love the colors of that red rock

Gayle said...

Oh yeah! Barry & I will definitely have to go there some day!

amy smart said...

Wow! These pictures are really cool. I also love your Little Red Hen blocks. They are so cute.

Aubrey said...

I love these pictures! That one above the kitchen is one of my favorites and it fits just perfectly in that room. It's so cool to see the pictures you took of the same place and how they compare.