We had an awesome day visiting Valley of Fire State Park.
It’s a colder morning today, around 35 outside, but looking like a beautiful day. I’m kind of excited that we are moving towards warmer states, and soon will have temps improve. As I woke up, Bella was waking up as well. I got her science book and handed to her, and she just got going on the left over work from yesterday. She did most of it well and on her own, but once or twice asked me to help. At one of those times, she wanted me to give her the answer, but I tried to make her realize she was asking me to do the work for her, and I would not do it, but would only explain the concept. It got better again from there and she finished it all, so we are “ready for the weekend”.
It didn’t take long for Carol to wake up, then Bia. We kind of had breakfast together, meaning, around the same time hahahaha…. I was sitting on the dinette typing and having my coffee while talking to everyone. Carol was sitting next to me, then Bia sat in front of us and Bella sat on the couch. We talked about what we’d do for the day, and that we should start getting changed and finish breakfast, with no rush, but moving while I finished writing. Carol then worked on packing lunch for the day and we were all ready to go by 10, which is good timing. Valley of Fire is a little over an hour away from us, so we had a good drive to go. The drive is pretty much all inside Lake Mead park area, nice roads, and amazing views all the way. Lots of mountains, valleys and desert, and the lake in some of the areas.
We arrived at Valley of Fire State Park around 11:30, and drove into the visitor center \ pay station, which is also the parking area for Elephant Rock. Pretty small parking for having that many things in one, but we had a spot right away. As the girls put their shoes on, I went to get the self pay ticket, and wanted to use the restroom, and found out they were closed. Now, that stinks! But, ok, there’s plenty of hiding spots in the area with all the sand stone mountains that have caves in them. Hahahahaha…. I put the $10 in the envelope, filled it out, etc and we all crossed the street towards a small mount, just so we could get away from people and find a place to pee before we headed towards the trail. I guess we are so used to having to go in the wild now that no-one even complained. The girls were actually excited to find their own spots. So, we went behind the first bigger mount and each found their own “hole in the wall”, and we peed. hahahahah….
With that business out of the way, we went back towards the truck and hit the trail to Elephant Rock. That trail is small, and really is just there so people don’t walk on the road from the parking area to the rock, as it is just up the street. It is kind of fun though as you are climbing over rocks and walking by some cool formations. Elephant Rock is pretty cool, it is a rock formation that looks like an elephant :). Carol and the girls saw it right away, for some reason it took me a bit to “see” the elephant in there, but after I did I could not believe how I was not seeing it, it’s obvious. Hahaha… It really kind of looks like those elephant looking massive robots from Star Wars. After our usual pictures, we walked back and decided to have lunch around there.
I grabbed the bag with the food and we crossed the street again and went towards the “natural bathroom” area we were before, and found a nice spot to sit down, enjoy the warm weather and the view, and have our food. Carol had made sandwiches, and the girls were not very excited about that. They’ve been picky, and Carol was not too happy. I had packed some beer, so Carol and I had a beer each with our sandwiches. Bia and Bella had their juices. Bella had eaten some apples before we went to Elephant Rock, so she really only ate half of her half. Bia ate her half sammie and had two juice boxes. Then the girls just played around, and actually found a rock where the holes were quite big and formed a house as they called it. It actually had two different areas, and was pretty cool. They played there for a while, asked for pictures, and even posed. And we kept going from there.
This park is amazing, and I totally recommend making the trip here. I had been to Vegas so many times, and never even heard of this park, and it is pretty close to Vegas. As we kept driving, we had amazing, grand and glorious views of mountains, rocks, valleys and desert. But this place has something about it. Even the pictures don’t make it justice. We made a few stops as we drove in. We stopped to check out the cabins, which are three cabins built with rocks and dirt right at the foothills of a mountain. Pretty cool.
We drove by the seven sisters, which are seven big rocks next to each other. Cool sight, but we didn’t stop as we wanted to go on a few hikes. Then, in the middle of the road there was a spot to pull over, and I did as we saw big horn sheep in the field. I parked, we watched them from the truck for a bit, got the binoculars out, then I decided to walk closer, and eventually Carol came too. That was cool. The animals were just grazing and didn’t seem extremely bothered that we were getting a bit close. I mean, we were not that close, but they’d look at us as we walked and made noise, but would slowly move away. I think Carol got some nice pictures.
Then we kept driving towards the white domes trail, and had a few stops on the way. The first stop was at Mouse’s Tank Trail. I guess an outlaw called Mouse would use that spot to hide back in the day, because at the end of the trail there’s a rock formation that worked as a tank and would hold water when it rained, so he had water. Cool. The trail was pretty awesome, easy walking with all the sand on the ground, but you do have to climb over rocks here and there. We walked between rock formations, so lots of cool things to see, and they also had some pictographs on the rocks, from Indians back in the day. Crazy those are still there after so many years. A lady was taking pictures all over with her dog, the dog was very obedient. She’d ask the dog to climb up a rock and pose, and sure thing, he did. I’m guessing that dog has an instagram account hahahaha. She was nice enough to take a picture of the 4 of us for us too. We ended up seeing her and the dog in other trails again. We all loved this trail, it was nice and easy and a quick 30 minutes.
Then we went to Rainbow Canyon, and as we drove up the mountain and came up to the peak… WOW… what an incredible view of the huge valley in front of us, full of massive rocks. Wow… it was amazing. As we got out of the truck, we saw the lady with the dog again. hahahah…. This was a bit longer trail, but still about 40 minutes. It was still easy, with some climbing spots. Bia had Maggie on a backpack this time. The trail is nice, again with sand and rocks… we walked towards a canyon area, and were between rock formations. Again, amazing views and things to see. When we got the the end of the trail, there it was, a massive rock canyon that went on and on… Wow… As I review the pictures, they don’t even come close to showing the depth and beauty of that spot. We hung out there for a while, enjoying the view and taking some pictures. We went up to a higher spot and took some family pictures, and while we did, a Big Horn sheep climbed up towards our area, from below. It was not next to us, but below us in the canyon so we could see it. That was pretty cool as well. That was an amazing trail.
Then we hit the highlight of the day, White Domes trail. That trail is a bit harder, with some up and downs on rocks, mixed with sand, so not for everyone, and it’s about an hour. It took us 80 minutes or so as the girls were playing hide and seek a little after half way. They would hide in the holes in the rock formations, and as Carol and I walked past them, we’d have to find them. That was really fun, and they had a lot of fun. Bia was careful with her choice of hiding spots, but Bella went crazy. She would be inside tiny holes and we’d almost miss her. She’d climb up quite high sometimes. It was pretty cool. This trail was amazing… just amazing all around. Lots of rocks. We walked between massive rock walls, then through a narrow gap between two massive rocks. We walked down a rock valley and saw lots and lots of different sandstone and rock formations. It was just amazing. The girls said they didn’t want to walk the entire hour when we started, and by the end, they were having so much fun they probably would have done it again. hahahah…. They were seriously hiding in some crazy amazing spots. That was one of the most beautiful, coolest hikes of the trip.
As we were approaching sunset, we decided to head back to Boulder City and have dinner. It was another hour plus drive back. We enjoyed watching the sunset as we drove, and seeing the orange glow behind the mountains as the sun went down further. What an amazing view to see the orange behind mountain ranges.
Carol picked a small taco shop for dinner, that she saw had great reviews, so we went there. Roberto’s Taco Shop is a pretty small place, with like 8 tables, and as we were there, all the orders were to go. So, we had one of the tables and the place to ourselves, which was great. They didn’t sell beer, but the lady told me to just get some at the gas station 3 doors down, which I did :). The food was pretty awesome. The girls loved it, and Bella said this was the best for her, and she wants to come back tomorrow. hahahah.
After we finished eating, I filled up the truck and we drove back to camp. Then we got showers going and the girls wanted to watch some TV. Bella ended up picking the video of our wedding, so we watched that for quite a while. It was fun to see everyone, and how they all looked 14 years ago. Carol cried a little, Bella did too. :). Then they put some Robots movie and we all got ready for bed. It was almost 11 when the movie was done and we all went to bed.
We had an awesome day visiting Valley of Fire State Park.