There I am at the west entrance of the park.
Las Vegas really is 41 miles away.
Iron in the sandstone is responsible for the red color. And the Valley of Fire gets its name from the redness. Most of southern Nevada's hills and mountains have a muted, and less interesting, beige hue, as what you see in the top two photographs.
Of the several movies filmed in the park, the Mars-set Total Recall is the best known.
Although I've never been to Arizona's Painted Desert, these scene seems to belong there.
A chuckwalla--it's a member of the iguana family.
Most mammals in the park are nocturnal in the summer, but I did find an antelope ground squirrel.
A brittlebush plant, which is...
...a member of the sunflower family.
It was over 100 degrees that afternoon--and nowhere else did it seem so than at this sandy spot.
And it was windier than hell that day. I felt as if I was standing under a blow-dryer.
A beavertail cactus.
And this seemingly transparent bush is a creosote.
A Mojave Yucca makes a stand in the sand. (Sorry 'bout that one.)
The Mouse's Tank Trail is named for a Paiute Indian who used this area as a hideout. The Petroglyphs were not carved by the Paiute, but Ancestral Puebloans, also known as the Anasazi.
On the right you can see an elk petroglyph. However, there are no elk herds in the park today.
With a little bit of water and a lot of wind--the geological feature known as wind holes are created.
Just outside of Mouse's Tank Trail.
I didn't get close enough for me to be sure, but I believe that the brown layer is shale.
And now the video presentation!