For spring break I had a bad travel itch, so we headed south and after dentist visits went to Valley of Fire State Park.
Our friends had saved us a campsite that was super awesome (thank you so much!), and after visiting and catching up a bit, we decided to go tackle a hike at Mouse's Tank.
It's a popular trail, but late in the afternoon there weren't so many people on it and it was cooler.
It didn't take long to get to Mouse's Tank, and we went and got a close look at a pool.
Then we began a really fun game of hide'n seek. We found all sorts of little alcoves.
I had to scramble into some little caves to check them out too.
We found a cool ramp that ascended between two cliffs.
We started to get hungry and headed back to the campsite in the evening glow.
The night was gorgeous, and we went for a little hike around the campground. Then we settled in for an evening under the stars, the rainfly off.
We had a leisurely morning (meaning the kids slept in until 6:30!), then got ready to go hiking. Arch Rock was backlit nicely with the morning light.
Then it was time to run up to the petroglyphs. The kids charged off.
And I got distracted by this bird.
When I turned around, they had already made it to the platform. It's a good leg burner if you run up all the steps!
Across the road we took the trail to the petrified wood.
The mineralization is so beautiful. And it's kind of neat to think about how a forest used to be in this area. Nowadays you have to look far to find a tree!
The color of the rocks was breathtaking, and I took way too many photos. (As you can tell by this rather longish post!)
Next we went to the nice visitor center and then up the road to Rainbow Point, where the scenery again was breathtaking.
I wanted to go see The Wave, which is featured on the cover of the Valley of Fire brochure and has been widely photographed. Along the way the beautiful cacti caught our attention, and the kids literally stopped to smell the flowers.
The way to the Wave was gorgeous. The rock layers undulate and the colors change.
Before long we were approaching The Wave. Or what I guessed was the Wave, since there were a lot of people taking photos.
It looks something like this. It's cool, but I saw many rocks that I thought were more beautiful! I guess it just goes to show that what one person likes isn't necessarily going to be everyone else's favorite.
The kids thought the Wave was kind of boring and they were hot, so they found a cool place to rest.
Eventually I convinced them we should return, and we found some other pretty things along the way.
When we got back to the vehicle, the kids declared they were done with hiking. So we went back to the campsite and had a picnic lunch. The pavilions over the picnic tables were wonderful for providing shade. Before long, the kids wanted to go scamper around the rocks by the campsite. We found a cool cave at the very top and took some entertainment to enjoy there.
The views were great. Then the kids spotted other kids and the next couple hours were spent playing and exploring.
After a trip to Overton to see the Lost City Museum and get some firewood and marshmallows, we returned for a spaghetti dinner. But I had to stop on the way back in the park and enjoy the golden hour. These globemallow were gorgeous.
This little rodent really wanted a handout.
A photographer pointed out a helicopter that had landed on top of the rocks. He said a bride and groom had hopped out.
The light was fading when we got back to the campsite, but it was still beautiful.
After dinner we took a walk across the road and watched the stars come out and the campfires light up the rocks.
The next morning we packed up and I took a few more photos.
Then it was time for one more hike, the White Rocks loop.
Guess what? The rocks were white. Ha, ha.
The kids were a bit grumpy, so I challenged them to not touch the ground. They liked that.And before long we were leaving Nevada's oldest and largest state park and heading on to our next adventure of spring break.
To be continued...