The Valley of Fire State Park is about an hour north of Las Vegas. It is Nevada’s oldest park, blessed with beautiful red rocks which give the landscape a fiery appearance in the early morning and late afternoon sunlight. The uplifting and faulting landscape coupled with the eroding surface count towards the beauty of the plains. It is also a home to many named and unnamed arches. According to history, Indians inhabited this area thousands of years ago and their petroglyphs can still be seen on most rock surfaces. It is an incredible place with loads of eccentric shapes and colours which give it a lot of photographic potential. The best time to photograph this area is in the falls, during the early morning just as the sun rises. It is an equally amazing view in the afternoon when the grazing lights bring out the beauty of the relief. The angle of capture is crucial if you want to produce near-perfect shots. Most of the time, the relief appears rugged and extremely colourful, and when further processed and developed, they could appear flat, just anyhow you want your product.
Some of the best locations for photography include:
The atlatl rock: With petroglyphs dating as far back as one thousand years, the atlatl rock is the first you’ll see from the left side when you enter into the park.
The beehives: This is the first rock formation which confirms rock weathering in that area, it is in between the two entrances to the campground.
Elephant rock: This is a rock formation bearing a striking resemblance to the large mammal, it is usually difficult to photograph because there is a slight slope off the east side of the rock formation. This makes it difficult to get accurate shots showing its resemblance to the elephant from certain angles.
Seven sisters: If you take the valley of fire highway heading east to the mouse tank road on the right side of the road, there is a large sand stone rock formation with picnic tables interspersed between them.
Balanced rock: Still on the right side of the road towards the visitors centre, lays a distinctive pile of rock formation with about two rocks balanced on top of a base rock.
Fire canyon and silica dome: Taking the mouse tank road from the visitors center drive up a bit and you’ll find a beautiful valley with multi-coloured sandstone formations.
The fire wave and other multi-colored sandstorm formation: Taking the northern road from the visitor’s center to the end of the road, there are lots of places to explore in this area the fire wave being the most prominent of them all. Stripes are something you don’t see too often in nature and the stripes at Fire Wave really stand out. In this isolated area of Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, the slick rock has interchanging streaks of beige and red-orange coloured sandstone. The Fire Wave has a bowl-shaped depression with a couple rising points covered with wavy lines, if one is able to take a perfect shot of this rock formation it does make a real beautiful photograph showing the wonders of nature.