Hephaestus's Blog


Hiking in Nevada’s Mojave Desert, Part One
April 23, 2015, 18:04
Filed under: Recreation

Click here for part two.

Last week, my family and I were in Nevada, because my dad had a conference to be at for work. The rest of us, while he was busy working all day, went hiking in the Mojave Desert.

Prelude: Hoover Dam

On Monday (4/13), I was ill with a horrible cold, so instead of hiking, we went to Hoover Dam.

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That’s one big wedge of concrete.

We walked out along the top of the dam, examining the sights.

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A penstock tower with a clock (blue square) showing Nevada time.

On either side of the dam, there is a clock on one of the penstocks showing Nevada (Pacific) and Arizona (Mountain) time. Because Arizona does not observe DST, both clocks showed the same time.

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Yet another clock, this one on the exhibit hall.

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The Arizona side of Lake Mead, showing how high the water can get.

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One of Oskar J. W. Hansen’s Winged Figures of the Republic on the Nevada side of the Dam.

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The bypass bridge, where I took the following picture.

After spending some time on the dam, we drove and walked out onto the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bypass Bridge. This bridge, completed in 2010, was built to ease the flow of traffic over the two-lane dam roadway.

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The only picture I got of the whole dam (and a bit of the bridge).

 Day 1: Valley of Fire State Park

On Tuesday (4/14), we headed northeast to Valley of Fire state park. Dedicated in 1935, Valley of Fire was the first state park in Nevada. It has beautiful outcrops of flame-coloured sandstone, which give the park its name.

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Winnie in a mini cave.

(the rocks are actually orange-red, but the camera kind of overexposed them.)

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A tunnel right through the rock.

We didn’t do much hiking here either; most of the interesting stuff was really close to the road.

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Desert scrub. Very little rain here.

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A higher angle on the same spot.

After visiting the areas where the above pictures were taken, we drove out to another area, with a more reasonably-sized hiking trail. I still wasn’t quite well, so we were taking it easy. Everything we did could be done easily in sneakers.

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The view up a sandstone cliff. The pink band in the upper middle stands out a lot more in real life.

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Looking down the valley where the previous picture was taken.

As you can see in the above photo, the rocks were very orange, and covered in places by a black coating which is actually a kind of lichen.

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Pink stone stained red by the higher formations.

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Looking back. We came through the valley to the right of the wall.

After passing through a beautiful valley, we turned and went into a slot canyon. This is a very narrow passage in stone, sometimes many times taller than it is wide, eroded into the stone by water.

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Winnie and I in the slot canyon.

After we left the slot canyon, we continued along a loop back to the parking area, after which we left the park.

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Geology eye candy; pink, red, and yellow.

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I don’t know what caused this interesting erosion pattern, but i like it.

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A rock with the red interior exposed.

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Scary plant!

This post is getting really long with all of the pictures, so I think I’ll leave off here and post about the next day on Monday.

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Bonus: Sunset over the mountains, seen from our hotel in Las Vegas.

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1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Eli, these pictures are awesome, I enjoy reading about your trip.

Comment by Charli Nauda




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