Valley of Fire

Red, fractured sandstone layers, eroded by wind, rain and gravity.

At the entrance, nothing suspicious, maybe except for that red band on the horizon. 
It’s dry, there are cacti and salamanders, the hills in the distance are more orange, but it could also be the light.
Gray and tan limestone mountains surround the fire.
And once we are close enough, it ignites!
Bright orange-red Aztec sandstone stands out against the plain hills.
It is from the Jurassic period and is the remnant of the sand left behind by the wind after inland seas subsided and the land rose.
There are artistic looking holes and caves, some as big as your finger, others almost to stand in.
Any of them is worh taking a closer look, the idea of driving through is taken over by the urge to explore.
Could spend days here!
And these cool features are just some near the entrance.
We’re checking our water and chips stash ’cause it’s obviously going to take longer.
But look at that! Who would not want to shoot a film here.
Egg shaped window for my new flintstone mansion.
There’s a lot of playfulness in this landscape.
Taking time on an ancient solidified and eroded sand dune.
Too many pictures? Never! Also I have already thrown out half of what I developed lol
But some structures are worth a shot from both sides.
This watchdog is the pet of the local campground.
The road winds 30 km within park boundaries.
And it has come a long way: The ancient murals, called ‘petroglyphs’ are 3000 years old.
It’s not like reading a book but we try to understand what’s going on here.
Trail after trail, each just 1 or 2 km long, sweeten the afternoon.
The visitor center, tone in tone with the rest of the sandy desert.
Fruit of a beavertail cactus.
Mouse’s tank walk.
More murals.
It seems they’re just in the black crusts, for better contrast.
Have we found Mouse’s hide out?
Hot air today, we drink a lot of water to make it to the end of the trail.
And are rewarded with more reading.
This girl perserveres.
Gosh, made it to the tank, which turns out to be a series of water saving ponds in the shade of close rocks. Mouse survived here for quite some time.
Walk back is exhausting.
We drive a bit more to relax with AC.
The hills go from flaming red to pink and cream as well.
One to stop for.
Stop over on the road side.
The colors, layers and shapes are getting ridiculous, and since we got time, there’s one more trail we want to go …
White Domes.
The stones being yellow, red and pink is just attitude.
And this sign right at the trail head, not sure if the State Park wants us to hike it’s own trail, but we will.
It starts with a few meters up in sandy terrain.
Makes me consider painting some rooms at home with earthy tones.
A sharp descent follows, signage is bad but we find our way.
Entering the narrow canyon.
Antelope might be bigger, but here we’re alone.
2,5 km that are worth walking!
Just 5 more pictures that needed to be taken.
The path back to the car park.

Climbing through the window.
The Aztec sandstone derives its characteristic red color from iron oxide in the rock.
White Domes and other areas in the park indicate that the rock has been stained from the bottom up by water circulating minerals from the iron-rick layers found beneath the Aztec formation.


Donations in form of Darbo Preiselbeer Kompott are greatly appreciated ;)