Sunday, June 30, 2013

Valley of Fire State Park: Part Deux!

After leaving the White Domes trail we headed back down the road to an "unofficial" but well traveled trail to  Valley of Fire State Park's version of the Wave.  I did expect a bit larger of a wave as most pictures online had no scale. That being said, it was a great little hike and the wave was still darn purty!

Red and white waves "breaking" on the sandstone.

Trying to get to the front of the Wave. From base to crest it is roughly 5 meters.  

Looking west from the wave to several more wavy patterned  rocks.

Looking north from the Wave. The deep red outcrop is aptly named the Rock of Gibraltar
The next stop along the way boasted several petroglyphs as well as French folks. An entire tour bus full o' French had disembarked on the trail ahead of us.  I put on my best accent and  "pardonez moi"ed as we slipped by them on the trail.  At one point, I did hear a woman call another a salope, which is bitch, and then laughed to myself as that is one of my remaining vocab words from studying the language years ago. Ahem....back to the trail.  Several examples of petroglyphs lined the canyons walls.

Picture enlarged to show detail.  

Not quite as full as newspaper rock outside Canyonlands, but still impressive for a lesser known park.
 The trail ended at a small steep slot canyon with several pot holes that collect rainwater, the main reason this was a place to stay in the desert. It was however, very difficult to get a picture into the potholes without finding yourself in one.

I swear the watering hole is below the foreground.
Heading back on the trail I was able to use a little more French and converse with someone that is was in fact "tr√®s chaud" (very hot).  The last canyon on this segment of the road was Fire Canyon. It was a fairly narrow canyon with no trail, but the overlook was great. You can see the older grey rocks of the thrust fault in the background.

The color difference in from the upper part of the Aztec Sandstone (whiteish) to the lower part (reddish).

The rest of the park was mostly driving around and looking at various outcrops shaped like things. There was a Grand Piano:

It's about twice the size of a normal grand piano.

There was an arch:

Hello! I'm an arch!
 And some beehives:

Bzzzzzz

Though I can say I am spoiled having Arches NP and Canyonlands NP within a couple hours driving distance, not to mention Colorado NM within 10 minutes, Valley of Fire State Park is definitely worth seeing if you have the opportunity.


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