Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Road Trip ! - Southwestern US (Part 2) - Valley of Fire State Park (NV) and Southern Utah

When we pulled out of Las Vegas on Thursday morning the temperature had dropped about 25 degrees from what it was the day before, it was raining off and on (mostly on) and it was very windy.  Our end point for that day was St. George, UT, about 150 miles north of Las Vegas, NV.  We planned to take most of the day to get there, stopping off in Valley of Fire State Park along the way.


The drive north on I-15 from Las Vegas was pretty ugly, but after about 50 miles or so we turned off on to NV 169 and things got a lot better really quickly.  You can't see any of the red rocks that give the park its name, but this shot pretty much sums up how Heather and I do our road trips.




Valley of Fire is Nevada's oldest State Park, founded in 1935.  The visitor center is very well done, with lots of informative displays.  The park gets its name from the red sandstone formations that jut up from the surrounding desert, making it look like a red island in a sea of brownish-green desert.






No trouble spotting the black Xterra in the sea of red sandstone.




This area has been inhabited for many years. We visited several pictograph sites in the park.




We followed the hiking trail out to Mouse's Tank. At some points along the walk the soft sand was as deep as what you would find at the beach, except that it was the same red color as the rocks. 










We got to St. George a little after dark.  The headwind was so bad going north on 1-15 up through the Virgin River Gorge that I think we dropped down to maybe 12-13 mpg. 


On Friday morning we set out for Zion National Park on UT 9.  Some great views along the way.




At Rockville we took a little detour south on an unpaved road known as the Smithsonian Butte Scenic Backcountry Byway. We only drove a short portion of this, but found some spectacular scenery along the way.






We arrived at Zion Lodge in time for lunch, and then went for a hike on the Emerald Pools trail.


To be continued . . .


Click here to see more images from Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.  There will be a link to the Zion pictures in the next post.
     

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San Diego, California, United States
About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

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All of the content and images on this site (c) Frank B. Baiamonte. If you would like to use any of these images please contact me via email at frank@frankbaiamonte.com to discuss terms of usage. Note that images from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are not available for commercial usage.

Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.