Valley of Fire - White Domes & Fire Wave - 1/19/13
Fire Wave at Valley of Fire
Small Slot Canyon
By the time we made it to the trailhead at White Domes in the Valley of Fire State Park of Nevada, we had a total of twenty-one hikers participating on the late Saturday hike today. It would be a 3.25 mile amble through some of the best scenery that Valley of Fire offers. There was plenty of time to take photos and socialize. And, time to be careful of footing!
The first part of the hike was probably the most difficult as we negotiated the steps down at the beginning of the White Domes Loop. Carefully, we all arrived at the bottom of the hill where there still stands part of the movie set for "The Professionals." From here, we dropped into the wash in front of us and turned left. (The official White Domes Trail Loop would turn right.)
Nearing "The Professionals" Movie Set Below White Domes
Another Small Slot Canyon
The wash took us through small slot canyons that were very fun and interesting. Valley of Fire colors abounded with pinks and oranges against the cream colors. The beauty blew us away ... even though some of us had seen it before. The hiking group consisted of hikers of various speeds with Brian D. sweeping the end of the line.
When we reached the scenic drive, there was a photographer there searching for angles. He inquired about a certain location and we were happy to help. If you get a chance, check out his web site at pipesphoto.com. Nice guy from New Mexico.
We crossed the road and continued into another small slot canyon.
Color in Fire Wave Area
Wall Wave Seen Near the Fire Wave
Don Stands Atop the Fire Wave
After this slot, we turned to climb up the sloping sandstone to our left. From there, we dropped into a beautiful sandstone wash and circled around a large sandstone hill. We stopped where we could take a break and see the colorful wave on the wall of the hill. A few of us searched around the area to find the Fire Wave, a relatively new feature of the park. Brian found the striped rock that curved and swooped into a cone. After our break, we exited the area by the Fire Wave and dropped back into the wash.
We turned right in the wash and returned in the direction from where we came. Again, we went through the beautiful small slots, crossed the road and eventually arrived at the movie set again.
On the way, we took note of several "fins" poking up out of the sandstone. There is a photo of one to the right.
Entering the Tall Slot on the White Domes Trail
Completing the White Domes Trail Loop
At the movie set, we continued hiking in the wash. Around the next corner, we found another famous feature of the park, the tall slot canyon that was also used in the movie. We hiked through the slot then turned right at the trail sign. This is where the official White Domes Trail Loop continues. We climbed the gentle slope through a beautiful part of the desert on a well marked trail.
There is a window tunnel in the sandstone up to the right of the trail. We had a little fun there then followed the trail to where it leads between two sandstone walls. On the other side of this pass, we arrived at the road and had about a quarter mile to hike up to the parking lot. It was a great morning enjoyed by everyone.
Painted Pinnacles Excursion
Ruins of Buildings Near Baseline Mesa
After the morning hike, there was an excursion over to the Painted Pinnacles via Baseline Mesa in search of the perfect photo. This will be an ongoing project over the next month or two. And, since the Silica Dome Road is presently closed due to paving, etc., we had to 4WD it down from the north side of the park, climb up Baseline Mesa then drop down at the pinnacles. The photo below is just a test of one view off of the mesa wall.