The name says it. Valley of Fire seems to be on fire with red sandstone formations. The campground is surrounded with red sandstone formations that were lit up in the sunrise and sunset. A couple of sandstones stood on our campsite like a standing book. Another flat sandstone laid on the ground set a platform for the lounge chair. Then a wall of well eroded sandstones separated our campsite with our neighbors. The best thing of waking up was seeing desert bighorn sheep! They came down from the cliffs and grazed on desert bushes. What a peaceful morning! The campground was named after the nearby Atlatl Rock with some 4,000-year old petroglyphs on the cliffs. The only symbol that I could decipher with confidence was bighorn sheep.
Valley of Fire is in Mojave Desert near Las Vegas. This area was a sea 500 million years ago. The ancient sea retreated and sand dunes took over during the Jurassic period at about 150 million years ago. The sand dunes were as thick as 3,000 feet. Sand was cemented into solid rock over time. Tectonic forces and extended erosion from wind and water created this amazing landscape.
We were excited to see a herd of desert bighorn sheep by the road on our way to White Domes. Yellow, red, pink, orange, purple colors and lines transformed the towers of rocks at White Domes into a splendid gallery. Some rocks had huge caves that were taller than me. Another rock rode on top of a ridge like a bullet train. A narrow canyon carved through the rocks and only a slit of sky was visible above. Walls of rocks were well eroded with numerous holes. A wall looked as delicious as a layered cake with cream and golden honey. A stack of orange colored rocks glowed like burning charcoals.
The vista at Fire Wave was another visual feast. Here is another artist’s palette with rainbow colors. The swirls on the mounds seemed reminiscent of mocha ice cream. The wavy multi colors on that yellow rock formation looked like an art created by an impressionist. Waves of cream and red color flow on the rock formation as if they were painted by a big brush. Contrary to the stark flat rock formation in the distance and the ridged lines on the rock bed, colors flow gracefully on the rocks at the lower ground. Walking back on the red sandy trail, we were delighted to find two huge barrel cacti.
Valley of Fire is another nature’s wonderland in the desert.