Valley of Fire State Park | Nevada + Bureau of Land Management

Yeah, so things don’t always go as planned, do they?

So, my grand plan to head on down to Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada didn’t exactly go as well as planned. Besides getting a late start leaving Utah, I had forgotten how early the sun sets now that it’s late November. Yeah, in the summer it would be light until 9pm or so. Now? You’re lucky if you have enough light at 5pm! I will definitely need to go back, but let’s recap my journey, shall we?

It started with a pretty drive down, and the sun blasting my face for most of the drive. Southern Utah is rather pretty! I drove past Zion and into Arizona for a short time down a pretty precarious canyon. Then, welcome to Nevada! The first buildings in site were casinos…not surprisingly! It was like a little oasis in the middle of the desert. The palm trees were rather strategically placed. Anyways, I continued further, grabbed gas, and then entered the park.

The clouds putting on a show! | Nevada

Unfortunately, me and everyone else in the vicinity thought the weekend before Thanksgiving would be the best time to camp in Valley of Fire. So, after driving through the two campgrounds and seeing that every spot was filled, I had to source elsewhere…but, not before I found some bighorn sheep munching next to my car! I grabbed my long lens and snapped some quick photos of them. Butt shots and all until they decided to show their faces. Such a cool animal!

Bighorn sheep | Valley of Fire, Nevada
Smile for the photo!! Valley of Fire, Nevada

I drove out of the park (to my disappointment) and saw numerous turnouts on the sides of roads that led to first roads. I eventually took one of these and drove on it for a little ways until I ran into a couple other people coming out. I asked them if this was Bureau of Land Management land, and they said it was! You can camp anywhere on this type of land.

So, I found a little spot where my car fit, and set up camp for the night. I found some downed bushes because there were no trees, and was able to find enough rocks for a makeshift fire ring. The sun went down early before 5pm local time, so I turned into my tent after my fire went out. I decided not to put my rainfly on for the night, and I was rewarded with some pretty spectacular stars! The moon was out, so I didn’t bother taking any pictures; I did see a couple shooting stars, which was so cool to see!

Bureau of Land Management | Nevada

I awoke early the next morning at around 4am and watched as the stars disappeared into the early morning light. I packed up before first light and was on the road at almost exactly 6am.

Moon over the Nevada mountains, late in the evening. | Nevada

I need more nights like this, I think. It’s fun to be alone in the middle of nowhere. I honestly enjoy it! The quiet evening and perfectly quiet night, except for the occasional wind running through my tent, and the beautifully clear night sky and morning light.

Until next time, Nevada.

~ Justin

Parting shot:

On the road towards California. | Nevada.

Next blog: Food or adventure? We’re getting close to the end of the year…my favorite blog to write is coming up!

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