Saturday, January 3, 2015

White Domes & Fire Wave (Valley of Fire SP) - 1/3/15

The Movie Set on White Domes Loop
Section of the Fire Wave

Footsteps in the Sand
 The late hike today was a short foray into the colorful area between the White Domes Trail and the Fire Wave of Valley of Fire State Park. Even though it is a short hike, it still requires sure footing as it travels through sand, rocks and gravel. There is also a minimal amount of easy scrambling. Nonetheless, seventeen club members parked at the White Domes trailhead parking lot and began slowly dropping down the steep hill on sand covered steps.

Descending the White Domes Trail
 We gathered at the movie set at the bottom of the hill where there is a sign telling about the movies and commercials that are filmed here every year.

Hiking Through a Small Slot
 We turned to the left in the wash below and started dealing with the sand and gravel. In short order, we passed through two small fun slots.

Colorful Slot on East Side of Road

Slot Canyon Fun
 After around half a mile, we crossed the scenic road at Wash #5. Continuing in the wash, we went through one more small slot with yellow and pink walls as seen in the photo to the left. When the walls slanted down and started turning more pink, we climbed out of the left side of the wash onto the yellow and pink hill above. This is one of two small hills required in the hike.

Climbing Out of the Wash
 When we crested this hill, we came to a beautiful view of the Fire Wave area. We dropped down to the wash between us and the large hill directly in front.

Overview of Fire Wave Area

Dropping Through the Sandstone Wash
 Following the sandstone slab wash down and around the base of the hill brought us to the Wave Wall that we found on our left. The colors brought forth oohs and ahhs from the group. Photos were taken. Then, from there, we turned around and crossed over the sandstone to reach the Fire Wave where a few recreational hikers were resting.

Wave Wall
 We sat on the wavy color patterns and took our break. The Fire Wave formation rose up in front of us. Perhaps the best time of day for photos of the anomaly would be late afternoon.

Snacking at the Fire Wave

Snacking at the Fire Wave
 After our break, we dropped down the crack on the other side of the Fire Wave and entered the main wash in which we were hiking to begin with. Turning to our right, we hiked up until the left side of the wash slanted down to us. Here, we stepped up on the rock and climbed up to the top of a purple hill that we will call Colorful View Hill.

Climbing Up Colorful View Hill
 The colors from this vantage point are everything that the Valley of Fire promises. Colors range from red to orange to purple to pink to yellow and white.

Colorful View
 Even though Kay has not quite worked out the details on how to get down the other side, this hill is worth the trouble! Eventually, we did find the descent on the other side and dropped down to the wash at the road.

Descending from Colorful View Hill

Exiting the Tall Slot
 From here, we hiked back through the wash all the way to the movie set where we connected with the remainder of the White Domes Trail. We hiked through the tall slot canyon and turned right at the trail junction sign. We followed the trail all the way up the backside of the White Domes Trail with a short stop at the arch on the right side. The trail leads between two rock walls and arrives at the road just below the cars. A beautiful morning!

3 miles; 800 feet elevation gain; 2.25 hours

Backside of White Domes Trail

Arch on White Domes Trail

Today's Route Shown in Purple

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