Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Fire Wave - Valley of Fire State Park

We've been to lots of places in the Southwest and this short hike to the Fire Wave in Nevada ranks up there with the best of them. It's in Valley of Fire State Park which is 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas. Most of the tourists on the strip have no idea this exists.  

The Fire Wave in Nevada

Up until last year this rock formation was a "hidden treasure" with no marked trail, but the State Park opened up a trail in 2013. The trailhead is not on their map yet so it's not very well-known. You need to go to parking lot #3 and look carefully for the sign (ask at the Visitor center). It's worth it - a short 1 mile hike over the rocks to this very cool formation.

We went there with our friends George and Cathy who we met in Las Vegas while we were staying in Palm Springs. We all really enjoyed Valley of Fire State Park in addition to the Vegas nightlife - and this hike was the highlight for me. 

George on the rocks
 Photo taken looking back from the Fire Wave 
We were lucky enough to be there with very few people. You can climb on the rocks easily and take photos from several angles. 

It's even more amazing in person - go there

Denise contemplating the geology

George, Cathy and Denise enjoying the day
Cathy and Denise (and my huge shadow)
taken from atop the Fire Wave

There is another remote place on the Arizona/Utah border called "The Wave" which this place is named after.  "The Wave" in Arizona  "The Wave" is a much larger version of similar rock formations and it's supposed to be one of the most amazing places in the Southwest - but its pretty remote and there is a lottery run by the BLM to get hiking permits to go there. They only allow 20 people a day to visit, so it's a tough ticket. It's very high on my bucket list and we plan to apply for permits (they say there is a 1-2% chance of success). 

But if you can't get to the actual "Wave" then this hike near Vegas is the next best thing - and it's pretty easy to get to if you know about it. Leave the strip behind for an afternoon and check it out! 

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