Ausfluege/Trips, nevada, Reisen/Travel

Valley of Fire – such a highlight!

Am Ende dieses Ausflugs erklaerten die Kinder feierlich, das war unser Lieblingsort! Ich muss sagen, dass Valley of Fire hat mir auch sehr gut gefallen! Aber mal von vorn: Also von Las Vegas faehrt man so ungefaehr eine Stunde zum Valley of Fire State Park. Anders als zum Hoover Dam ist die Strecke frei und man kommt sehr gut durch!

At the end of this day my kids declared that this was their favorite destination! I have to admit I, too loved Valley of Fire. But let’s start at the beginning: Valley of Fire is about an hour drive from Las Vegas. Contrary to the Hoover Dam there are no traffic or delays to expect. It’s a really pleasant drive!

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the drive to Valley of Fire is smooth and gives you a taste of what to expect when you arrive at the park
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Valley of Fire State Park Entrance

As always we stopped by the Park Office to get some free maps and information to plan out the rest of the day. Don’t expect cell phone service or your GPS to work! … get a paper map!

Wie immer war unser erster Stop der Visitorcenter, um eine kostenlose Karte und ein paar Informationen abzugreifen, um den Rest des Tages zu planen. GPS und Handy funktionieren in diesen Parks meistens nicht, also lieber auf Papierkarten vertrauen!

valley of fire map 3
although it looks small on this map the park is 42000 acres = 170 km2!
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The visitor center is nestled into a few mountains.

Around the visitor center are a picnic area and a few paths where you can take excellent pictures. It’s also perfect for watching wildlife. Yes, you read that right there are actually living creatures in that dusty place. We got a kick out of watching the ground squirrels. They are just too cute! Unfortunately they are also very fast and didn’t want their picture taken. So please feel free to click here and it will show you those amazing creatures.

Hinter dem Visitorcenter gibt es einen kleinen Picknicktisch and auch ein paar kurze Wanderwege, wo man tolle Fotos machen kann. Ausserdem sind sie die perfekte Gelegenheit, um ein paar Wuestentiere zu beobachten. Ja, ihr habt richtig gelesen, dort lebt wirklich was, zum Beispiel die putzigen Ziesel. Leider waren sie superschnell und wollten auf keinen Fall fotografiert werden. Aber wenn Ihr Lust habt, klickt mal hier und schaut Euch ein paar Bilder an.

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picnic area behind the visitor center
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desert paths behind the visitor center
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bird feeder behind the visitor center – don’t miss the opportunity to watch and listen to the comical quail (there’s a tiny one in this shot just beneath the feeder!)

After taking a trizillion pictures at the visitor center we decided to head to the White Domes area. White domes are sandstone formations with brilliant contrasting colors. There’s a 1.25 miles long scenic hiking trail with a slot canyon. (It’s about a 20-minute drive from the visitor center).

Nachdem ich eine Trillion Bilder am Visitorcenter gemacht hatte, ging es weiter zu den White Domes. White Domes ist eine Sandsteinformation in allen moeglichen Farbschattierungen. Ausserdem gibt es dort einen ca. 2km langen Wanderweg durch eine Schlucht. (White Domes ist ca. 20 Minuten mit dem Auto vom Visitorcenter entfernt.)

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driving through the park alone is very enjoyable
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walking on the trail the first people we met were Germans (of course)
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this is my favorite kind of gold

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slot canyon … put your jacket back on!
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I can’t get enough of that color combination!
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Who knew gold came so many shades?

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Next we wanted to go to the Fire Wave – a very popular and unique mountain but there was no way of finding a parking spot. Even after waiting 15 minutes on the street there was not a chance. So we hit the road and went to Rainbow Vista where it was crowded, too but just before we pulled into the parking lot someone left.

Als naechstes wollten wir eigentlich zur Fire Wave – einer sehr bekannten und einmaligen Formation aber dort gab es keinen Parkplatz mehr. Selbst nachdem wir 15 Minuten am Strassenrand gewartet hatten, wurde kein Parkplatz frei. Also mussten wir wohl oder uebel umdisponieren und landeten dann am Rainbow Vista. Dort war es auch rammelvoll aber gerade als wir auf den Parkplatz fuhren, wurde ein Platz fuer uns frei.

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‘adventure in color’ – indeed!
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Lots of plants at Fire of Valley, creosote bush, burro bush, and brittlebrush
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several cactus species, including beavertail, hedgehog, and cholla, are also common.
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If you want to sit down make sure there’s not a cholla in your way.
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cool color combinations are everywhere
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stripey mountain
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fire canyon overlook – well worth the sand in your shoes

Ever heard of petroglyphs? They are basically prehistoric rock carvings. At Mouse’s Tank you’ll find a significant collection of petroglyphs. The rock art was created by a culture known as the Basketmakers (2000-1450 years ago) and the Anasazi/Ancient Pueblo group (1500-850 years ago). The first petroglyph I discovered here reminded me so much of one of my favorite blogger friends that I had to send her a picture immediately. Don’t you think that the two creatures look just like Helen’s beasties?! I’m sure  it’s them. They must have somehow contacted the native Americans eons ago.

Habt Ihr schon mal von Petroglyphen gehoert? Kurz und knackig gesagt, sind das praehistorische Felsmalereien. Bei Mouse’s Tank kann man eine grossartige Kollektion an Petroglyphen finden. Diese Felsmalereien stammen von einer Kultur, die sich Basketmaker nennt (vor  ca 2000 bis 1450 Jahren.) und den Anasazi (vor 1500 bis 850 Jahren). Als ich das erste Bild sah, wurde ich sofort an eine meiner Lieblingsblogger erinnert und ich musste ihr abends sofort ein Foto schicken. Findet Ihr nicht auch, dass die Figuren exakt wie Helens Beasties aussehen? Irgendwie muessen die wohl Kontakt mit den fruehzeitlichen Indianern aufgenommen haben.

valley of fire mouse tank petroglyph canyon
oh my, it’s the beasties!
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That’s a whole storybook!
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At mouse’s tank the scenery is a lot greener than anywhere else.

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Boy, after all this hiking through the sand we were pretty much wiped out. Fortunately there was a scenic drive where you didn’t have to get out of the car much. So we took it slow on the way out and back to Vegas.

Puh, nach der ganzen Wanderei durch den Sand waren wir hundemuede. Zum Glueck gab es noch einen scenic drive, wo man aus dem Auto heraus viele schoene Aussichten hatte und nicht extra aussteigen oder weit laufen musste. Auf dem Heimweg fuhren wir also noch gemuetlich ein paar Gesteinsformationen ab:

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elephant rock

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10 thoughts on “Valley of Fire – such a highlight!”

  1. Oh wow, those colours! Against the deep blue of the sky, the rocks seem to glow even more. Plus, ancient desert Beasties! This opens up a whole new previously unexplored chapter of Beastie history – not only was contact with humans made looooong ago, it also seems like we all used to be the same size! Thanks for unearthing this valuable piece of evidence 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe the beasties came/vanished/visited through some sort of hidden portal in those rocks/mountains?! You probably have to ask your beasties to find out the real story!


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