Friday, April 15, 2016

Our New Most Favorite Place on the Planet

April 12 - 13, 2016
Boulder City, NV

U.S. 93 is one of those nearly flat, nearly straight, highways that make for a nice, uneventful drive - with just enough pretty scenery to keep us interested for the short, 80 mile, trip to Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

We're always early getting to our next stop, usually before the "official" check-in time. It's no different this time except we have to wait 15 minutes for the park host to come on duty at noon. Then we can move to our site two hours early (yay).

Boulder Creek Campground is a terraced park with the every-other-one set-up for each row except the lake view sites at the bottom. Our site faces the lake from the top row and our views are amazing. 

I'm taken back by the beauty here. Like other places I've read about and seen photos of, there's nothing like seeing it in person. I guess this is why we decided to travel instead of buy a bunch of videos :-)

For the first time since November we sleep with all the windows open, the low is 58 degrees overnight (our high last week). 

The first place I want to see here is Valley of Fire State Park. We leave at 10 AM and return after 6 PM.

In between we find the most spectacular place we have ever seen. Really. It's number one on our ever-growing list. 

The 40-plus miles of scenic drive on the way there take forever as I pull over so many times to take photos.

We find a pull-off to a small arroyo

with an amazing red rock wall
and our first signs of desert flora.
Finding shells in the multi-layers of the wall
The highway provides endless color
Red Mountain is a destination of its own
with arches in the distance
and holes along the trail
We can't believe we aren't "there yet".
Side note: fill up your fuel tank before taking this route. 

A happy sight at Echo Bay 
with an opportunity for anyone seeking a middle-of-no-where position (no lake access)
At the park entrance we pay our $10 fee and can't believe we're going to see anything more amazing than we've already seen today. Ha!

Half way through the park we are long out of adjectives. By the time we leave we're making plans to spend a week next Spring.

The first thing that captures us is the intense color
Built by the CCC in 1935, using native sandstone, The Cabins housed visitors to the park for several years. 
Amazing views from the little windows
You never know who's going to show up at the door.....
The small creek nearby makes a lovely setting
A large wall of petroglyphs behind the cabins are hard to capture in this light - some are dated at 5000 years old.
We pull over several times just to enjoy the long views
Rocket Rock
There are numerous "handle" arches throughout the park
One of the Seven Sisters.  This Day Use area provides picnic tables and pit toilets.
Red Rock Doggie
Hanging out by the Visitors Center
As if the rocks and vistas aren't enough, there is a bounty of  spring flowers

The landing party was no where in sight.....
Chocolate and vanilla ice cream melting into a creek bed
Mind-blowing colors
in every direction
No words......

We drive through the campground. There are 22 w/e sites and we pick #'s 32 and 35 as the best. We want to be here next year at this time and spend days exploring this incredible place. Unfortunately the sites are all first come-first serve which is challenging because it is 40 miles in both directions to find another place if none are available. We'll probably take the chance - because it's the most beautiful place we've ever seen.


  1. I have heard and seen other blogs about Valley of Fire and the feelings were the same as yours. The colors in your pictures are spectacular. How wonderful that you were there for flowers in bloom too. Icing on the cake. I can hardly wait to be able to spend days hiking there. What an amazing landscape. I sure hope that coming on say a Tuesday might up the chances that you would get a site and not have to double back 40 miles. a big rig that would be a bummer. Wouldn't it have been more than terrific to have been able to stay in one of the CCC Cabins? WOW! Great post!

    1. Those little cabins have corner fireplaces too! I think they'd be perfect :-) I'm hoping a Tuesday morning will work too - we really want to stay inside the park.

  2. Awesome photos Jodee. Adjectives do get used up quickly don't they?

  3. Your photos really show the colors you spoke of. Definitely a great area.

    1. Thanks Steve, we couldn't believe nature put all that together :-)))

  4. Yes, you do need to stay in the park campground. It is so much fun to hike and climb right out of you motorhome. We've stayed twice in #32, a perfect site! You can call ahead to the camp host to see if there are openings before making the trip out. But if you plan to go during the week, there doesn't seem to be a problem.

    So glad you got to see this amazing place in person:) Great photos and I love the header:)

    1. Good to know about the camp host! Love that you were in 32, that view out the front has to be amazing.

  5. Such a gorgeous park. I too want to return and spend more time. Campground was nice to stay in. Mid-week would seem the best option with this park being so close to Vegas. Also boondocking available outside the park. Bonus to see all those beautiful flowers.

    1. There were dry camping spots that looked pretty tight back in the rocks, but we'll hope the mid week arrival gets us a w/e site. We're hoping a week is enough to see everything the place has to offer - so much wow :-)

  6. Man, I hate it when I run out of adjectives. Synonyms, too! :). Love the photos, Jodee. Absolutely beautiful!

  7. You outdid yourself with your photos of this park, between the gorgeous rock formations and the beautiful wildflowers -- I can understand why you ran out of adjectives! :-)) This is a place we've wanted to visit for years -- we were thinking about fall, but now I'm thinking we really need to go in the spring.

    1. It really is stunning with the flowers and the super green grease wood - but Fall there would be less chance of wind. Either way, it's a place you have to see to believe :-)

  8. Beautiful photos. That would be a long way out for a workamper.

    1. That's true, it's not close to anything. But for a couple months it would be amazing.

  9. Lake Mead is such a beautiful place. I hope we get back there again this next snowbird season.

    1. It's sure a place returning to - we're so glad we had this "extra" week!