Wow, Valley of Fire State Park, NV

Trip Start Feb 09, 2013
Trip End Jun 30, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday, April 25 – We left Las Vegas no thanks to the GPS (she was all messed up this morning). Drove about 50 miles north on interstate 15 and took exit 75 in Nevada heading to the Valley of Fire State Park.  This is NV oldest and biggest state park  and gets its name from the red sandstone formations formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs.   Uplifting and faulting of the region and extensive erosion have created a landscape that is stunning and red.  Spring and Fall are the best times to visit this area with temperatures in the low 70's and 80’s but in the summer it can go up to 120 degrees. 

   The drive in was on a one lane road and with great views.  We arrived at the campground to check in because we know it is a first come first serve and very popular.  I reviewed the campground below.  It  did get up to close to 90 during the day but my husband decided we didn’t need an electric site.  Our site was pretty but I could have used the electric in the middle of the day.  Nice breeze!

   Drove to the Visitor Center for a movie and a some great exhibits.  We did some hiking and saw the Beehives which are unusual sandstone formations weathered by the eroding forces of wind and water.  Right near the campground is Atlatl Rock which has a platform built for tourists to walk up to see some outstanding examples of Indian Rock Art or Petroglyphs.

   We also headed north of the Visitor Center and the road started out very scary all uphill but it was fine.  We saw the Rainbow Vista and Mouse’s Tank.  Mouse’s Tank is named for a renegade who used to hideout in the 1890’s.  It is a natural basin in the rock where water collects after rainfalls.  To hike to it one walks along the Canyon Trail with examples of prehistoric petroglyphs all along the trail.

   Tomorrow we head out of the park towards the east entrance and we can visit Seven Sisters, the Cabins and Elephant Rock before we head north to drive through AZ again then to Utah and Zion National Park.  We will stay in Zion for three days since it is the weekend and April is one of the best months to visit the park.  There are so many more RV’s camping here and mostly rented by tourists from overseas.  Great to see them travel, but we will have to make sure we stop early to get sites at the Utah State Parks and the National Parks. 

Thursday, April 25 – Atlatl Rock Campground, Valley of Fire State Park, NV

This state park is located about fifty miles north from Las Vegas so it is a very popular spot for day trips and campers.  There are two campgrounds in the park right near each other Atlati Rock and Arch Rock.  Atlatl has some electric sites, water and hot showers and fills up first and early, then later on mid- day Arch Rock campground fills up.  We got there around 10 in the morning and found a spot in Atlatl.  So many RV’s drove around looking for spots late in the afternoon and this was only a Thursday.  Many rental RV’s with tourists from overseas.  There were some electric sites open but we chose to dry camp because the temperature was only around 75 degrees and our site was more private.  The sandstone red rock formations are stunning.  The host was very helpful and it is a self check in station.  We had to pay $10 to get into the park.  When you self register for the campsite,  if you put your gate receipt in the envelope it was another  $10 for dry camping and $20 for electric.  If you don’t include the receipt dry camping is $20 and electric $30.   One can hike in the campground and the park itself has a visitor center and a variety of places to hike and pullouts for scenic views.  Everyone has always raved about this state park and I can see why.  It is beautiful!  I wish that NV would release the handicapped sites at the end of the day so all those wanting to camp here could use them.  Also, they should put out a campground full sign so that campers are not going through the campground late inthe evening thinking there are sites available.  The sign should be at the entrance gates so you do not have to drive in to find out.  Another interesting point, it seems they only collect the fee into the park at the west gate, so if you come in and leave by the east gate you don’t have to pay.  If you can’t find a camping spot there is also a great BLM spot right on a cliff just north of the east gate heading to Overton.  There were about 30 RV’s there when we drove by in the morning. 
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linda on

Beautiful part of our country--just so red!

lucille on

The beehives are right up Toms alley Ha Ha

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