Valley of Fire State Park
One of the most amazing state parks I’ve ever been to is just an hour away or so from Vegas – well worth the detour when you’re in the area. I had a Vegas trip scheduled with friends in July 2012, but I knew there were a few landmarks I wouldn’t be able to catch with them. With that in mind, I decided to head out by myself 3 weeks earlier and check out some of the less stereotypical Vegas spots, but my primary goal was to see Valley of Fire.
Pulling into the park, I started to hear a metallic crinkling noise coming from my engine under heavy load. I pulled over by the entrance sign to snap a photo and then call my mechanic and confirm that it was ‘just’ pinging.
Eric talked me through it and confirmed it was just pinging, so I planned to take it easy until I could get some higher octane gas in the big twin. I then putted around on these beautiful roads…
…over to the service station to pay the entrance fee and check out the first landmark, Elephant Rock.
Moving through the park, the next highlight is a set of cabins built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) soon after the Valley of Fire became a state park. Constructed of local sandstone, they were used for many years to shelter campers – visitors were free to use the cabins as needed.
Unfortunately, they are now off limits for camping and are being preserved “as a reminder of the work accomplished by the C.C.C. throughout Nevada.” Part of the preservation needs are due to the increasing popularity of the park – in 1936, approximately 9,000 people visited Valley of Fire. Now the park averages 200,000 visitors/year.
Want to know more? Start here.