"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Monday, March 19, 2018

Exploring the Valley of Fire State Park, NV

Overton, Nevada
Lake Mead - Boondocking


Craig, Jo, Steve and I left Laughlin and drove the 3 hours to explore the Valley of Fire State Park.  I've been through Nevada a lot, after living just over the border in Northern CA, but never heard of this spectacular park until a couple of years ago.  Our timing never worked out to visit previously, but this time it did! 
The campground in is First Come, First Serve so I figured we wouldn't get a site.  I called a couple of times ahead just to check and they were full every day with a line waiting in the morning.  Not a big deal as we really wanted to boondock just out of the park at Lake Mead.  We found a great spot on Campendium that suggested Stewarts Point, just south of Overton. 


As you pull off the Highway you drive through some flat, brown desert.  Nothing really interesting.  Seems like we drove miles although it's only about 18 miles to the entrance once you turn off I-15.  Our GPS was indicating only 4 miles to go.  I kept wondering where all the beautiful red is.  We got down to one mile and I still saw only brown.  Then you come around a bend and there it is!  WOW!


 
The flat turned to mountains that jutted up with lots of green and wow, that red!  Since we had our Nevada State Parks Pass we could come and go in and out of the park without paying the $10 entrance fee each day.  Plus we could take on fresh water and dump our tanks too.  The road goes right through the park so on our way to our boondocking spot we filled out fresh water tank.



The coordinates to Stewarts Point were perfect.  There is also a sign for the turn off.  We got set up and Jo fixed dinner, then we had a nice campfire.
Heading out of the park.  Thanks Jo for the picture!

All set up on a bluff overlooking Lake Mead. 
 
Our nearest neighbor in the distance. One of the reasons we love boondocking so much more than being in a campground, especially a private park.  So much more space!
 
 Jo made a fantastic meal and we had dinner al fresco on the patio!
 
 A nice fire and then we were off to bed so we could spend the next day back in Valley of Fire State Park.
 You could see the lights of Vegas in the distance.

The next day after Steve was finished working we drove back to the West Entrance to see the interesting things along the road.
The first stop had a couple little hikes, one of which took us to the Elephant Rock.  See the trunk on the far left?  There was also an Earthcache here as well as more throughout the park that we picked up as we went.
As we walked back to the truck we turned around and there standing on a rocky outcropping across from us was this beautiful Bighorn Sheep!


This marker marks the spot where John Clark died after being discharged from the Civil War in New York. While traveling from Bakersfield to Salt Lake City, he apparently became lost while looking for water and died at this spot.


The next pull out led you to the Petrified Logs up a short trail.
Craig, Jo and Steve getting ready to head out using some of the unique hiking poles that Craig makes out of interesting wood he comes across as they travel.


The logs were very colorful.
The Cabins were very well built and still look very sturdy.  Each had a fireplace, windows and a door.



There were some petroglyphs on a wall behind the cabins you could climb up to.
 


 
With the bright colors Steve and Jo are wearing you can spot them from quite a distance.

 
There are a string of tall rock formations that spring up in the flat area called the 7 Sisters.



We wandered through the washes for quite some time just exploring.
There are picnic tables and grills around the base of each of them for day use.  We saw a small wedding being performed here one evening.  One of a couple weddings.
If you look close you can see white areas leaching out of the red rock.
Five out of the seven sisters.
Driving through the campground in the park we saw some interesting camping options.  The campground is small, but there are several that would fit a larger rig.  Especially in the hookup section.

They sure are nice spots mixed in with the boulders.  Some like the one above are quite long.


What a great yard to play on for the kids.
On the way back to camp we stopped for a geocache hidden up high.  A little scrambling was needed.  Craig and I took on the challenge and found it!
What a full day exploring.  We'll head back now for dinner.  No fire as it's getting windy and a storm is coming in.  Tomorrow we have more exploring and two awesome hikes planned!
 I loved how the shadows and clouds played with the hills as the sun started to set.
 
 
 Tomorrow: the Fire Wave and White Dome hikes!!
 
 

20 comments:

  1. Wow, you really packed a lot int your time in the park. We loved seeing the petroglyphs, mouse tank and arch rock. Even got a couple earth caches that you guys got too. See you soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had a week and got to spend a lot of time hiking. Cool that you got some of the same caches too.

      Delete
  2. Still our favorite state park anywhere! I'm hoping we get out there before we leave the area next week. Beautiful pics - I love that last one of the dunes :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had a blast! So happy to finally get there and share it with good friends.

      Delete
  3. We liked that area and have stayed at Stewarts point a stones throw from the water. It was a great spot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great place to camp! Couldn't believe we actually had great cell service there!

      Delete
  4. Great pics! You’re so lucky to see that Mountain Sheep. We have many fond memories visiting that park. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were surprised to see so may too. Loved the babies.

      Delete
  5. That whole park is gorgeous! Love the colors everywhere!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So funny that so many of us were there over just a few weeks. Loved that color!

      Delete
  6. WOW!! The big horn is spectacular on top of that boulder. Nice hikes you've been on :-) And your boondocking site looks peaceful too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We love this park. Now we are excited to have it as part of our playground when we are in town. We really like the fact that the whole park is open to exploring not just the pre-made trails. You don't find that most places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great playground to have. I love that you can really explore all around as well. I'd love to go back again for some of the longer, more challenging hikes.

      Delete
    2. If you get back, head down the White Dome trail. As you get ready to turn into the slot, head up the slickrock to the left. It is an easy "slide" type rock that takes you to the top. We then wandered way back. We thought it looked like a great lunch spot which is what took us up there. Then we realized we could keep going. fun!

      Delete
    3. Will check it out if we get back!

      Delete
  8. One of the parks on our list, looks like some great hikes. I know when we get back west there'll be more boondocking happening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great hiking here! Yes, love all the boondocking out west.

      Delete
  9. This looks like such a great place to spend more than a little time. Love the sheep.

    ReplyDelete

I’d love to hear from you!