Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20, 2011 – Valley of Fire

When it comes to national parks and spectacular desert spots, Nevada has got tough competition. Squeezed between California and Utah with the Grand Canyon just out of reach, the average traveler doesn’t think Nevada and scenic go together. And I have to admit that some of those dry and dull roads across Nevada can be a challenge. But I decided to treat the Silver State as a treasure hunt. There are some real gems hidden among the sagebrush. Years ago I discovered one of the best desert places in the west.
Valley of Fire State Park is about 90 minutes north of Las Vegas, yet most of the thousands who flock to Las Vegas will never bother to see the park. I am not complaining about that. It’s always quiet and so many other travelers assume that as a “state park” it can’t be as good as “national park.” Okay, you just keep driving. Valley of Fire is all about the canyons, the rock formations, the petroglyphs all in oranges and reds against an intense blue sky. I saw the place in a dream over and over for about six months before I first visited the Valley of Fire. That was over ten years ago. I have been back many times since then.

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