Well, our wedding day was the best day ever — this was the second best day! It was 12/21/2013 and our first wedding anniversary! Kyle and I were in Las Vegas, NV for 5 days celebrating our anniversary. We decided to take a break from all the Las Vegas stimuli and rent a car on the 21st to drive out to the Valley of Fire State Park. We wanted to see some of the desert landscape.
We rented a Ford Focus from Avis, which had a location in our hotel — New York, New York! We enjoyed the convenience that this service had to offer since we could pick up and drop off the car at the hotel. The car rental was just around $90.
We began our adventure around 9:30 in the morning. The drive out the the Valley of Fire was quite simple and with each mile the scenery became more and more picturesque. About an hour into the trip, our navigator (my phone) told us to take a right onto a road that when straight into the desert toward the mountains. At first I was a bit skeptical — I felt like I was traveling into a scene from Breaking Bad. After heading on this road for about 18 miles, we turned the bend and were instantly in awe of what lie ahead of us.
The view driving into the Valley of Fire
Formations of red sandstone amongst the desert landscape is what makes up the Valley of Fire. We learned that these formations were created from shifting sand dunes about 150 million years ago. Scattered throughout the park are other rock formations of limestone, conglomerates, and shales.
Map of the Valley of Fire
Kyle and I decided to hike the trails in the park. The trails were not long by any standards, but they were beautiful. Our favorite was the 1 1/2 mile loop at the White Domes stop. This walk took us through narrow passage ways of magnificent colored rock formations and up to a plateau that had breathtaking views of the park.
After stopping at the other sites throughout the park to gasp at the beauty and take pictures, we made the spur of the moment decision to exit the park through the east side (opposite of the way we came) and explore whatever lie ahead. And boy, I am glad we made this spur of the moment decision!
Immediately after exiting the Valley of Fire, we were greeted by the Lake Mead Recreational Area Post. We paid the $10 entrance fee, were given a map, and sent on our way to explore. We decided then and there to stop at all the points along our 70 mile journey back to Las Vegas. This was the sense of adventure were desired! We stopped at the desert oasis’s (a must see), hiked more trails, and even stopped in a completely deserted town. The drive through the park was an amazing experience. We fell like we were the only two people in the whole world! It was a glorious way to spend our first year anniversary.
To wrap up the marvelous day, we stopped at the Hoover Dam and walked across it as it was closing. Then headed back to Las Vegas for the most amazing meal we have ever experienced at Kumi in Mandalay Bay. Following supper, we were invited to the Foundation Room at the top of the Hotel for drinks and an amazing view of the city. Only later did we find out that this is a members only club… I should have known by the 6 guards in suits in front of the private elevator.
The End of a Perfect Day!