Lake Mead is probably less off the beaten path than Valley of Fire but we only passed through here en route. We actually had planned on camping here and going to the Valley early in the morning, envisioning a cool breeze off a big lake from our tent. But when we arrived, it seemed derelict and the lake was less than enticing. It was hot and dusty so we kept on going. We were sure glad we did as camping a the Valley of Fire was topnotch. Sometimes it does pay to travel by the seat of your pants with no reservations and no real set plan.
Not seen from the end of the Mouse's Tank trail is a small arch. At the end of the trail there is a sign directing people to the very end, by 20 feet and the Tanks. However, if you venture straight past the sign about 30 feet and scale up on the right to what appears to be a raised slot, you will find the small arch pictured.
The White Domes loop road is an 11 mile loop which winds and twists its way though multi-hued sandstone and ends at the White Domes. Even if you don't have time to hike the 2 mile trail around the domes, the drive is worthwhile as the scenery does not disappoint.
The Mouse's Tank is a naturally occuring rock basin where water collects after rainfall. The mouth of the Mouse's Tank resembles a narrow slot canyon. During the summer, this must be a cool and shady spot to escape the 100 plus degree temps. In the winter, the dark canyon adds an extra chill to the air. From here, its a short distance to the end of the trail.
Hmmmmmmm, just marvel at the wonder of nature...
This came to mind:
'God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, & the wisdom to know the difference.'
A slot canyon found along the White Domes trail. These slot canyons were created by water slicing through the sandstone. During a rainstorm, several feet of water can accumulate within the canyon. This is definitely not the place to be during a downpour.
Again, the name is self-explanatory, but the rock formation is pretty impressive. It looks as if it is the work of countless hours by a talented sculptor when the artist in none other than Mother Nature.
These holes in the rock surface are called blowholes. They are caused by wind and water which erode the surface of the rock. Over time, these forces will destroy the entire rock formation, but this process will take hundreds of years.
Valley of the Fire's scenery has been the backdrop for several popular movies. Several Star Wars scenes were shot here, as were some portions of Star Trek Generations. The 1966 film, The Professionals was also filmed in the park, and a portion of the original set was left behind on the White Domes trail.
About 15 miles north of the Valley of Fire is an area in Logandale set aside for off roadin'. I suppose you could rent a Jeep in Vegas and do this, though the rental company wouldn't like it. Better is to do a little research and take one of the ATV tours.
This is a series of trails that are open to the public. Basically you're riding, off road, through the northern end of the Valley of Fire. In fact the trail takes you into the Valley a bit. These trails vary from graded to unmaintained and very sandy. Know your limitations! My stock Wrangler did this with no problems.
Have fun, see the desert the right way! I didn't take any worthwhile pictures, I was having too much fun!
Examples of ancient rock art, as seen along the Mouse's tank trail. This is one of the most accessible areas for seeing petroglyphs.