Valley of Fire State Park – White Domes Trail

Valley of Fire State Park – White Domes Trail

En route to Zion from Las Vegas is a not so well known Nevada state park called Valley of Fire, so named after its fiery red rocks. In contrast to the surrounding grey rocks laid down during the Paleozoic era, the red rocks were formed later during the Mesozoic era. This entire area used to be part of the ocean way back when.

I had wanted to hike the Fire Wave trail that leads to a place that looks like a mini version of the famous Wave in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. However, unbeknownst to us, the trail is closed every year between Memorial Day and Labor Day due to extreme summer heat. So we had to settle for a scenic drive and another trail – the White Domes trail.

Varied rock colors as a result of different mineral deposits
The White Domes trailhead

The White Domes trail is a 1.25 mile loop trail that brings you through a short section of a slot canyon. Given the 95F weather, I was perfectly OK with hiking such a short baby trail. I even brought my camel pack with me as I did not want to risk dehydration even on such a short trail.

Beautiful marbleization of the stone steps
The slot canyon provided the much needed shade
Once past the slot canyon, the trail opened up and became completely exposed, revealing a palette of colors.

The park is small and certainly not unique in the sense that you can’t see something similar in other parks, but it is worth making a slight detour if you find yourself traveling on I-15 between Vegas and Zion.

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