The Valley of Fire

On a whim, we thought we'd explore The Valley of Fire outside of Lake Mead and do a couple of hikes there. It was far more impressive and beautiful than either of us expected. Feeling jaded from the magnificence of Arches, I thought nothing would compare. The Valley certainly is different, but equally majestic in it's own right. The White Dome hike took us through a movie set, a slot canyon, and some dunes. The Fire Wave was an out-and-back to the -- yes, you guessed it -- a rock formation that looks like a fire wave. After the hikes we drove through the State Park Campgrounds so that we would know what they are like for a return visit. I've reviewed those in the Campground Reviews part of this website, so won't go into it here. Suffice it to say, however, that they are awesome campgrounds. At one of the campgrounds we spotted some big horn sheep which was certainly a highlight! One note: the map and description of the hikes in the Valley, given to us at the Visitor's Center, was consistently inaccurate. We did the White Dome hike which said it would take 45 mins and it took 30. We did the Fire Wave hike that was supposed to be 1.5 miles long; the signage at the start said .6 miles (one-way) and the brochure said an hour long. It took 45 mins. We thought we could squeeze in a third hike before sunset, so we went to the Rainbow Overlook which looked like a short little walk. According to the map it was an hour long, but given our experience with the other hikes, and the short dotted line on the map, we figured it would be 20 mins max. When we arrived, the sign at the start said 1.75 miles, which we didn't have time to do before sunset, when the park closes. So we skipped it. Who knows, it may have been a short hike. Their signage and maps were all over the board!