Valley of Fire State Park

December 26, 2011

The road from Zion National Park takes you not too far from a brilliant red collection of Navajo sandstone rocks known as Valley of Fire State Park, close to Las Vegas.  While the sandstone in both parks is of the same, 150-year-old formation, the similarities between these two areas end there.  While in Zion the inherent majesty of the cliffs and spires dominates; in the Valley of Fire the saturated colors of the tortured rocks are off the charts.

Continue reading

Zion National Park: Canyoneering in the Narrows

December 24, 2011

A conversation with my mother’s college roommate inspired a pre-New Year’s Eve trip to Zion National Park in Utah.  While her roommate and her daughter went to New Orleans for Christmas, we decided on the original plan of Zion.  We rented a car in Las Vegas and drove up Interstate 15 through Nevada, Arizona, and finally to Utah, where we turned off the interstate and passed the towns of Hurricane, Virgin, Rockville, and Springdale, arriving in a deep river valley gouged out by eons of flowing water.  The Virgin River cuts through ancient dense sandstone, carving out a narrow river valley amid the tall red and white cliffs.

Continue reading