Sophie Williams makes a surprise discovery and finds that there’s more to Las Vagas than bright lights and casinos.
“We’re going to the Valley of fire” we tell the receptionist on the hotel desk. He looks at us clueless. “I’m from Vegas and I’ve never heard of it” he replies as he hands over a map he managed to print off from Google. We head off to the car hire centre and search for this mysterious place.
I’d actually found the place by accident by searching for pictures of Las Vegas on search engines and then finding a beautiful picture of sandstone rocks and a valley full of bright red colours and patterns.
The Valley of Fire is fifty miles outside of Las Vegas and is a hidden gem in the barren desert. It’s a perfect place to go for a day out and escape the bright lights of the strip. Hardly any locals know of the place and it’s never in any of the USA guide books. That’s the perfect thing about this national park; you can drive around and not see anybody. The place is yours to walk or drive around.
The landscape feels like you’re on another planet and the silence around you is sometimes eerie. It’s no surprise that the Valley of Fire has been used countless of times for films and television programmes including Star Trek Generations.
The weather is always boiling hot especially in summer so it is best to take plenty of bottles of water with you as there as the visitor’s centre is the only place in the park to get some. It’s also probably best to take lunch with you especially if you spend the whole day there as there’s a lot to explore and very little sign of life around you.
There’s a trail that goes through the whole park where you can see different rock formations that look like various things from beehives to elephants. You can also climb alongside one of the rocks and see ancient drawings from the indigenous people who lived there thousands of years ago.
On the last part of the trail you can look over the valley and see all of the different shades of red making it look like it’s on fire. It seems to disappear beyond the skyline and looks stunning. It’s a nice place to sit down and watch the sunset before heading back to the craziness of Vegas.
Have you ever visited the Valley of Fire or found any hidden gems in unexpected places?