Escape of the Week: Nevada’s Valley of Fire

Las Vegas, a look at the Valley Of Fire

About an hour outside of Las Vegas is the Valley of Fire. Dedicated in 1935, it is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park.

And, it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

With a background of bright blue sky, the red sandstone formations are striking. They’ve been around since the days of the dinosaurs, a not-so-shabby 150 million years.

A perfect day trip, there is plenty do to in the park. For nature-lovers and hikers, there are trails that weave around some of the stunning formations, including the beehive rocks smoothed over time. Plus, there’s places to picnic and camp, too.

Want to go?

From Las Vegas, take I-15 North to Exit 75.

Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Destinations

The top 25 reasons why I Love Las Vegas (The List)

25. There is no last call.

Unless you are at a club, then you catch last call and head to ANY other bar in the world because they will always be open.

24. The shopping.

Ummm … the world’s biggest H & M; window-shopping through Wynn, the Forum and The Shoppes at The Palazzo; the 75 percent-off racks at Dillards; the two outlet malls; getting in the car and driving 45 minutes to Primm for another outlet mall (it’s got designer duds) when all else fails. And, if that’s not reason enough, the malls on the Strip close late, even on Sundays.

23. The food.

One word: decadence. There are some amazing places to dine in this town, from the celebrity chef restaurants to the little pizza shop run by a family in Henderson to killer sushi in Summerlin. And, of course, the three restaurants I work for.

22. The weather.

There aren’t many places where you can step outside in the dead of winter and be barefoot with no coat, have the sun beat down on your face and be WARM.

21. The entertainment.

From the free shows to the musical productions to the concerts, Las Vegas has so many options. Every night of the week.

20. The people watching.

There is nothing more priceless than going to The Strip, sitting outside eating brunch (see Reason 23), and observing the people walking along in front of you. Holy wow. You name it, you will see it.

19. Downtown.

It may not be the Downtown every other city has, but it sure is cool. There are some great bars, amazing art and First Friday, where all the cool kids go to get some culture. Bonus points for the Old Vegas Awesome Atmosphere.

18. The grocery stores.

We’ve got Fresh & Easy, which rocks.

17. The Strip.

Yes, sooner or later that one has to be listed. I don’t really enjoy The Strip. I don’t go to The Strip for a night out. But, it is nice to know The Strip is there. It’s fun to drive down it when there is no traffic. It is a picture to behold when passing it on the 15. And, when bored, it is a great way to kill time.

16. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

I am a sucker for the Winter Dream Tea. It is amazing.

15. The parks.

The city itself may not be an outdoor-lovers idea of a good time. But, to the west is Mt. Charleston, the highest peak in Southern Nevada, with hiking trails, sledding, skiing and snowboarding. There’s also Red Rock Canyon, with even more trails, views and beauty. To the east is Boulder Dam and Lake Mead. In the spring, people head there and rent houseboats for a weekend on the water. And, a little bit out of town is the Valley of Fire, which is like Red Rock on crack.

14. No state tax.

Hello, bigger paycheck.

13. The free drinks you get when you gamble.

At least you are getting something in return for losing your cash.

12. Southwest Air.

Getting away is still (relatively) cheap. And, there are heaps of flights to Las Vegas.

11. The sun.

It is sunny here more than it is not. There’s something to be said for Las Vegas’ blue sky.

10. The view.

Mountains. The Strip. Being parked at the top of Anthem Highlands and looking down at the entire valley glistening below in the middle of the night. And, nothing screams “relax for a minute” than the palm trees.

9. The all-you-can-eat buffets.

Yes, this ties back in to #23, but whatever. This one deserves a standalone. I mean, you can get anything you want at a buffet. And, get it 500 times (or until you get sick). Now, there are even some casinos that offer you a day pass. Sick.

8. The pools.

The Strip pools are pretty much in a class by themselves. I once went to Palazzo’s pool and was given cucumber to put on my eyes.

7. The nightlife.

I don’t like going to clubs, but if I did, Las Vegas would be my idea of heaven. There are the mega clubs, the boutique clubs, the ultra lounge clubs, the super secret/VIP-only clubs and more. Plus, all the DJs that come to town to guest spin.

6. The booze in grocery stores.

And gas stations. I’m from Maryland — where I lived, that didn’t exist.

5.  The slot machines.

They are everywhere. In grocery stores. In gas stations. At the airport. If I ever wanted to lose a quick buck, I could just go across the street to 7-11.

4. The Small Town Vibe.

This can be good or bad. Sometimes, I like it. Sometimes, I don’t.

3. It’s a 45-minute flight to LA.

Trade in the desert for the beach for a long weekend? Yes, please.

2. It’s hard to get lost.

The city is a grid, which is awesome. Plus, at night I always remember the Stratosphere is north, Luxor is southwest, the line of airplanes landing at McCarran is east.

1. The possibility.

There’s just a feeling here … anything can happen.

Travel Travel Tips