Great Basin: Hiking Around Wheeler Peak

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great Basin National Park can sorta be thought of in two pieces: the area surrounding Lehman Cave, and the area around Wheeler Peak.

To get to the Wheeler Peak portion you have to follow the whole scenic drive from the park entrance until it ends at the Bristlecone parking area. It takes awhile to get up there, but it is worth the effort because this is where all the best hikes in Great Basin are located.

Besides Wheeler Peak itself, here are my top picks for hikes in the Wheeler Peak and Bristlecone parking lot area:


Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Sky Islands Forest Trail, 0.4 miles round trip

“This gentle, wheelchair accessible, trail winds through a high alpine conifer forest. Interpretive signs explain how this forest exists, cut off from other forests by distance, elevation, and time. Begin at the Bristlecone Parking lot at the end of the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive.” (NPS website)

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Nice and easy trail, perfect for kids and handicapped folks

No matter which national park I go to, I always do all of the short little nature trails. Because why not? They are short and easy, plus they always lead to interesting sights. Doing this trail will only add a few minutes to your day, which is totally worth it once you see all the beautiful trees and little alpine streams.

This is a great hike for those who are unable to do the full Alpine Lakes Trail.

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake


Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Alpine Lakes Loop Trail, 2.7 miles round trip

“The trail passes two beautiful alpine lakes, Stella and Teresa Lakes, with great views of Wheeler Peak. Begin at the Bristlecone Parking Area, near the Wheeler Peak Campground.” (NPS website)

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

This is a very pretty hike. It crosses over beautiful alpine meadows, with the imposing Wheeler Peak looming in the background.

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

STELLA!!!!!!!!!!

It is also relatively flat, making it a good hike to do to help you acclimate to the higher altitudes in the park. And it leads past two stunning lakes. Total win.

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Trying to find the trail underneath the snow drifts…much butt scooting required.

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Stick your hand or feet in the water…it is impressively cold. I mean, it is basically just melted snow still surrounded by frozen snow, keeping it chilled.

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Teresa Lake, aka literally the coldest water I have ever felt

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

More snow butt scooting.


Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Bristlecone and Glacier Trail, 4.6 miles round trip

“Interpretive signs in the bristlecone pine grove explain the lives and significance of these ancient trees. The Glacier Trail is the continuation of the Bristlecone Trail. It continues beyond the bristlecone pine grove to the only glacier in Nevada, nestled beneath Wheeler Peak.” (NPS website)

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

This hike was super cool and a lot of fun. The trail starts at the same trailhead as the other two hikes, and then splits off towards the glacier and bristlecone pine grove. It isn’t a difficult hike, and is absolutely a must-do when in Great Basin, especially for the bristlecone pines. They are the oldest living things on the planet, and don’t grow in many places.

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

To get to the bristlecone pines, follow the trail towards the glacier. After a while you will see the Bristlecone Pine Grove Interpretive Trail to your left. It is just a quick little loop, but will put you up close and personal with these ancient trees (and by ancient, we’re talking over 5000 years old). Pretty awesome.

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

The Bristlecone Pine spur trail

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

The hike to the glacier was a bit more of challenge. After the bristlecone grove, much of the trail was covered in snow drifts (we were there in late June, for reference). However, you could see the trail pick back up after each snow drift, so we knew we wouldn’t get lost if we wandered across the snow. Plus other people had already crossed the snow before us, so we knew it was safe as long as we followed their footsteps. Literally, haha.

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Lots and lots of snow was still covering the trail to the glacier when we were there in the end of June. Be careful if you decide to cross snow drifts!

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Seriously though, really do be careful when crossing snow drifts…you never know what is underneath them, or how deep the snow goes.

Was it worth it? Yes. Did it make for some really cool photos? Definitely yes.

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

The glacier!! and backside of Wheeler Peak

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake


All three of these hikes start from the same trailhead, and could easily be done in one day. Normally I try to give you my pick of the best hike in the park, but it is hard to choose between these. If time permits, seriously try to do all of three of these hikes. They will give you a really good sampling of all the coolest stuff to see in Great Basin. But if you can really only do one hike, pick the Bristlecone and Glacier Trail. That trail will take you to the only glacier in Nevada, nestled at the base of (arguably) the tallest mountain in Nevada, and past the oldest living things in the world. That’s a pretty epic round-up for just 4.6 miles!

And be sure to check out those scenic overlooks as you drive back to camp or wherever your next destination may be!

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Scenic overlook

Great basin, great basin national park, things to do in great basin, best hikes in great basin, hiking in great basin, best things to do in great basin, top sights to see in great basin, Nevada road trip, national parks, national parks in Nevada, wheeler peak, glaciers, bristlecone pines, oldest living things on the planet, glacial tarns, stella lake, Teresa lake

Click here for a list of all of the hikes in Great Basin National Park.


 

 

Touring Lehman Cave!

If you’re like me, you’ve probably never heard of Lehman Cave. Nor did you know there were any caves in Great Basin National Park. Or have even the slightest idea what is in Great Basin at all. It has somehow stayed under the radar, which is surprising after discovering how seriously cool this park is. It has so many distinct features that are unexpected to be found all in the same park, let alone in the middle of nowhere in Nevada.

Lehman Cave is one of these features. The only way to see the cave is by booking a tour, so here is what you need to know:

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

Behind the visitor center, where the cave tour begins

Cave tour options (from the NPS website):

Lodge Room Tour

Lodge Room Tours are approximately 60 minutes long. The Lodge Room Tour travels 0.4 miles, and is ideal for families with young children. The Lodge Room Tour highlights the Gothic Palace, Music Room, and Lodge Room sections of Lehman Caves. Tours to the Lodge Room are limited to 20 visitors. White Nose Syndrome screening is mandatory.

Grand Palace Tour

Grand Palace Tours are approximately 90 minutes long. The Grand Palace Tour travels 0.6 miles, and children must be at least 5 years old to join the Grand Palace Tour (except on tours November through February). This tour visits the Gothic Palace, the Music Room, the Lodge Room, Inscription Room, and the Grand Palace sections of Lehman Caves, including a chance to view the famous “Parachute Shield” formation. Tour is limited to 20 visitors. White Nose Syndrome screening is mandatory.

 

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

The natural entrance to the cave

All of the following photos were taken on the Grand Palace Tour. Cause in my opinion, if you’re gonna tour the cave, you may as well go all in and see as much of the cave as possible! It’s only a couple bucks more than the Lodge Room tour, and covers almost twice as much of the cave. Worth it.

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

General Cave Tour Tips:

  • There are some stairs and narrow passageways, so visitors should be in somewhat decent shape.
  • It can get pretty cold (in the neighborhood of 50°) inside caves, so dress in layers!
  • The ground can also get wet and slippery, so wear shoes with tread.
  • They won’t allow you on the tour if you’re wearing clothes that you have worn inside any caves or mines at any point in time, so if you do frequent caves, wear something different this time to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome.
  • Leave all bags, food, and drinks in the car, but be sure to bring your camera!

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

Cave Tour Schedule*:

Fall Tour Schedule: September 5 to October 31, 2017
Grand Palace Tour (90 minutes, ages 5 & up)
9:00am & 1:00pm
Lodge Room Tour (60 minutes, all ages)
11:00am & 3:00pm
Winter Tour Schedule: November 1, 2017 through March 8, 2018
Grand Palace Tour (Open to all ages during winter schedule only)
1:00pm Monday – Friday
9:00am & 1:00pm Saturdays and Sundays
There are no tours available on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years Day.Spring Tour Schedule: March 9, 2018 – May 24, 2018
Grand Palace Tour (90 minutes, ages 5 & up)
9:00am & 1:00pm
Lodge Room Tour (60 minutes, all ages)
11:00am & 3:00pmSummer Tour Schedule: May 25, 2018 – September 3, 2018
Grand Palace Tour (90 minutes, ages 5 & up)
9:00am | 11:00am | 1:00pm | 2:00pm | 3:00pm
Lodge Room Tour (60 minutes, all ages)
8:30am | 10:30am | 12:30pm | 2:30pm | 4:00pm

 

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

According to the park website, tickets can either be purchased in person at the visitor center on the day of your tour, or in advance online. But here on The Whiskey Wanderer, I’m going to say the only way to get tickets is to make a reservation online. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people I saw get turned away at the visitor center, being told that the tours were not only sold out for that day, but also for the following two weeks.

The tours WILL SELL OUT (each tour is limited to only 20 people), so if you want to be sure you get to go on a tour, plan ahead and make a reservation.

Click here to book a tour.

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

Ticket Prices:

Lodge Room Tour
(60 Minutes)
Grand Palace Tour
(90 Minutes)
Adults
(16 & older)
$8.00 $10.00
Youth
(5-15 years old)
$4.00 $5.00
Infants & Toddlers Free N/A
Golden Age/Senior Pass
(cardholder only)
$4.00 $5.00
Golden Access Pass
(cardholder only)
50% off 50% off

 

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

Early visitors to the cave would write their names on the ceiling in soot

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

Seriously though, this is one of the must-see sights in Great Basin National Park, and for good reason. This cave is super cool, and no visit to the park is complete without seeing it. Great Basin has four features that make it a ridiculously cool park, and this is one of them (the others are coming in other posts… stay tuned!). It’s definitely worth the time and money.

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

Lehman cave, lehman cave tours, great basin, great basin national park, Nevada national parks, Nevada tourism, Nevada sightseeing, things to do in great basin, things to do in great basin national park, family outings in Nevada, outdoors, Nevada road trip stops, lehman cave tour schedule

For more information on Lehman Cave and Great Basin National Park, visit the official website.


 

Valley of Fire State Park

I suppose I should start this post by saying it is not recommended to go to Valley of Fire State Park during the summer if you plan on hiking. But we did anyways.

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

I guess we are just optimistic and a tad foolhardy. But we were also smart about it. We knew that the Fire Wave was the hike we wanted to do the most (it is arguably the most iconic sight in the park), so we did it first thing in the morning, before temperatures reached burn-your-skin-off levels.

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

We also brought frozen water bottles and bandannas soaked in water. Staying cool and hydrated is the most important thing! We know from experience- this wasn’t our first time battling with the possibility of heat exhaustion (you can check out my blog post about it).

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Oddly enough, this trail isn’t even listed on the park’s website. So here is the info:

FIRE WAVE, 0.6 miles one-way, moderate?

“The Fire Wave, located in Valley of Fire State Park, is an easy hike to an amazing sandstone formation that resembles an ocean wave with swirling patterns of red, white, and pink sandstone” (AllTrails). Easy based on mileage and elevation gain, difficult due to being completely exposed and hiking on sand and sandstone (which just radiates heat). Trailhead is located along the road to White Domes (watch for signs).

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Make sure to follow the cairns and arrows! The trail is not easy to see, and you don’t want to wander off-trail and damage the eco-system. Leave no trace!

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

The Fire Wave!!

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

It really is pretty damn cool. To look at…the temperature was scalding. I think I almost melted off my bum while getting this picture lol.

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of Fire is Nevada’s largest and oldest state park, and is totally worth a visit even if you don’t plan on hiking. After finishing the Fire Wave trail, we decided that was enough hiking for us and opted to spend the rest of our visit just checking out scenic viewpoints (with frequent visits to the visitor center to reset our body temperatures in their air conditioning hehe).

It’s amazing what just 15 minutes inside the cool building and a cold soda will do to revive your spirits.

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Another break in the visitor center. They have this wonderful enclosed foyer with chairs and tables. Perfect for a picnic lunch out of the heat! You seriously can’t stay outside in 112° F weather for very long. Nor should you.

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Back to the scenic drive! All these sights can be seen right from the road: no hiking required.

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Except for these petroglyphs. The rock they are on is next to the road, but to see the petroglyphs you have to go up the stairs.

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

It’s worth the effort though. Seeing art that has been there for over 2500 years is pretty incredible, especially with how high up on the rock they are.

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks

Ok honestly, we did want to do a lot more hiking than that. We had a full day planned, and had a perfect itinerary that would’ve allowed us to see everything we wanted to see in the park during our 1-day visit. But the weather gods didn’t cooperate, and so we had to play it by ear. Meaning we had to scrap like 75% of our itinerary. But staying safe is more important than sightseeing, I guess. This just means I have a lot of unfinished business with Valley of Fire and have to go back someday. Maybe in the fall or winter.

Valley of fire state park, valley of fire, fire wave, Nevada, las vegas, hiking in Nevada, sightseeing in Nevada, things to do in Nevada, places to hike in Nevada, best places to go in Nevada, hiking in Nevada, Nevada state parks


Day use entry fee: $10
Open year-round, pets welcome (on leash), camping permitted in designated areas only (first come, first served)
For more information, visit the Valley of Fire State Park website.

 

Road Trip Photo Diary: South Dakota to Los Angeles

Ok, so this is probably gonna be one of the least informative posts on this blog. Just a heads up. I didn’t plan on writing this post originally, but when I was looking through my photos from my trip to South Dakota, I decided I liked all these pics too much to leave out. So I had to find a way to include them on the blog.

It’s hard to put into words how awe-inspiring the heart of America is. I’ve road-tripped through the country dozens of times, but I still fall in love with the land again every single time.

So this post is a photo diary of sorts. Basically just some snapshots of my journey home from South Dakota back to California. Big skies, open land, small towns, and tourist stops. A drive done over three days, passing through South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and finally home to California…

The childlike blue line marking our approximate journey (cause no, I didn’t actually look at the map closely and follow the specific freeways when I drew it)

START: South Dakota

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

 

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

Wyoming…

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

Utah…

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

Nevada…

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

California…

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

South Dakota, north America, united states, travel, little America, road trip, united states road trip, road trip to south Dakota, road trip to los angeles, travel blog, travel photography, super 8, Utah, California, las vegas, Nevada, things to see while road tripping across the us, family vacation, sightseeing in the united states

END: California

So there it is. Will this post help prepare you for traveling to any of these states? Probably not. But the reason I ultimately decided to share this post with you is so it might serve as a reminder that the journey is just as worthwhile as the destination. Look out the windows as you drive. Stop at the weird sights along the way. Try local foods.

It’s all those small things that sometimes make the best travel memories. ❤