While I am far from a good photographer, I do enjoy taking photos as I visit various state and national parks around the country. It allows me to give you a glimpse of the beauty that is out there (although the photos never seem to do the actual scenes justice) so that you may want to visit the place one day.
I find that in additions to all the amazing places that can be accessible by hiking, often the beauty is right there next to the road. In fact, sometimes it’s the road itself (as part of the overall scene) which is part of the beauty. That is exactly the feeling I got when I came across this while driving in Valley of Fire Nevada State Park (this was driving back from White Domes back toward the visitor’s center).
I actually got in trouble taking this photo. When I saw the view, I immediately pulled off to the side of the road to take it even though there really wasn’t a proper place to do so. it was one of those things that i saw and just needed to take a photo of it. A park ranger happened to be on the road and I scolded me (which he rightfully should have done). There was a parking area about a mile back and I should have parked there and hiked to get the photo. Point to remember with all the beautiful views that state and national parks provide…
One of the natural wonders that I enjoy hiking to most is waterfalls. While hiking in Valley of Fire Nevada state park (a couple of hours outside Las Vegas and a wonderful day trip if you want to escape all the casinos) I came across this rock fall or rock flow (I’m not sure which to call it), but found it wonderfully interesting, especially with the contrast of colors between the striped red sandstone and the rocks in the flow / fall. This was found while doing the White Domes hike which I would highly recommend doing for anyone that makes it to Valley of Fire (click photo for a bigger, more detailed image)
What do you think?
For those who have an extra day when staying in Las Vegas and want to see something beyond the gaming floors and slot machines, an hour and a half drive out to Valley of Fire Nevada state park is definitely worth the effort. There is a good variety of scenic spots and different formations that will ensure that you don’t regret the trip. There is also a very nice display of Native American rock art at Atlatl Rock. It’s well worth stopping to see these ancient petroglyphs. An information sign placed in the parking lot before you climb a metal staircase gives the following basics about the atlatl:
An atlatl is a throwing stick or dart thrower used by ancient tribes to give more force to their darts or spears. It was usually a wooden stick about two feet long with a handhold on one end and a hook on the other end. A slot cut in the tail end of the dart was set against the hook allowing the dart to lie along the atlatl so that both could be grasped midway of the dart by the user.
These petroglyphs were made by ancient tribes. Respect their antiquity. Help preserve them.
When you reach the top of the staircase, the rock art is easily seen and quite bold. The art above the protective fence is well preserved and has little damage:
Unfortunately, the art work below the fence line has been vandalized to some degree:
At the top, there is another informational sign which reads:
These petroglyphs have existed for over 4,000 years. Ancient drawings are a reflection of the past and the lifestyles of Native American cultures. Although we don’t know exactly the meaning of the images, this art reflects the thoughts of these people.
In order to protect these cultural treasures, we ask that you do not walk on, touch or deface the rock. Help us protect our petroglyphs for others to enjoy for generations to come.
Be sure to look around a bit because there id definitely more rock art than their first appears to be