Valley of Hearth and Lake Mead in Nevada | Favourite Journey



The roads in Nevada’s Valley of Hearth State Park lower by means of a few of the world’s most beautiful pink rock formations.

Johnny Money sang about fireplace, homicide, heartbreak, and sin, and I believe he would have appreciated the symbolism of this experience, given its route. Northeast of Las Vegas is among the most visually beautiful state parks within the Southwest. The added bonus for motorcyclists is that the park’s roads hint by means of the crimson panorama like slithering black mambas. A experience by means of Valley of Hearth State Park and Lake Mead Nationwide Recreation Space makes for a unbelievable motorized respite from the neon bustle of Vegas. 

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The Las Vegas Strip, with its huge themed casinos, sidewalk solicitations, and congestion, will not be my cup of tea. That’s why my staging level for this experience was Fremont Avenue. Whereas nonetheless over-the-top, this space has the texture of an older, extra real model of Vegas.

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The evening earlier than my experience, I watched a canopy band play traditional rock tunes beneath the lights and video cover that spans Fremont and loved a wide range of road performers. The following day, I put a pair bottles of water and lunch within the saddlebags of my BMW R 1200 GS and mounted up. 

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Fremont Avenue is properly north of the site visitors and congestion of the Strip, so getting out of the town was way more handy than it might have been if I had opted for lodging at one of many mega-casinos. On my method out of city, I rode previous the Mob Museum and the Neon Museum – Vegas-themed tributes that had been added to my post-ride leisure schedule. 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area Nevada
The Las Vegas Wash runs as a tributary to Lake Mead, including one more distinctive visible ingredient to this nice experience.

The cruise northeast on the Las Vegas Freeway (Interstate 15) was a pleasant warm-up to this loop experience. The muted hues and desert views had been expansive as I climbed out of the neon valley. There have been a couple of floating cotton balls within the in any other case intense blue of the mid-morning Nevada sky. The road the place the horizon meets the sky was as crisp and sharp as I’ve ever seen. 

After 30 miles of motoring on the freeway, I diverted the GS eastward onto the Valley of Hearth Freeway. The 2-lane tarmac begins as a gently curving and undulating climb into the grey stone mountains that had been a part of the putting delineation I loved simply miles earlier than. Nonetheless, the monochromatic grey quickly provides technique to vibrant blotches of crimson. Considering the title of the Valley of Hearth State Park, I couldn’t assist however think about these pink spots as flare-ups brought on by the wind-carried embers of an approaching wildfire. 

Valley of Fire State Park Nevada
The assorted hues of the desert panorama within the Valley of Hearth make for a experience with an nearly cinematic really feel.

My first cease within the park was on the aptly named Beehives. There may be little doubt what all the excitement is about. Cringe-worthy puns apart, the Beehives are a spectacular object lesson on the creative creativity of abrasion. The hives are stratified tributes to the ability of wind, water, and time.

Valley of Fire State Park Nevada Beehives
The Beehives are whimsical sentinels that add to the area’s other-worldly really feel.

By the point I acquired to the turnoff for the park’s customer middle, I used to be absolutely engulfed within the figurative flames of the Valley of Hearth. I stay close to Sedona, Arizona, and I’ve ridden extensively by means of the pink rocks of southern Utah, so I’ve a strong base of reference for the hue of pink sandstone. Valley of Hearth is one thing totally different. The terrain carries a deeper, extra blood-like patina on this area. It’s beautiful. 

Valley of Fire State Park Nevada
The sleek and well-maintained winding roads by means of the Valley of Hearth are tailored for motorcycling.

I purchased a $10 park move at a self-serve kiosk and rode up Mouse’s Tank Highway. The endgame of this lovely experience was a brief hike on The White Domes Path, the place I loved a drink of water and a snack and took within the majesty.

I’m not often a fan of out-and-back routes; nonetheless, this experience, carving by means of the curvaceous rock formations of the park, is unbelievable in each instructions. It’s solely about 6 miles from the customer middle to the top of Mouse’s Tank Highway, so the experience by means of the center of the park is brief however very scenic.  

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Valley of Fire State Park Nevada
The combination of elevation adjustments and a smorgasbord of turns makes the experience by means of the Valley of Hearth very entertaining.

Again on the Valley of Hearth Freeway, I used to be awed on the magnificence round me. The highway follows the undulations and sinews of the pink rocks. I made a ultimate cease at Elephant Rock and meandered up the path in my Sidi boots. It was properly well worth the put on on the soles of these costly kicks. Elephant Rock is one more of the park’s formations that’s stunningly indicative of nature’s wonders. 

If this had been a full daytrip somewhat than a through-ride, I’d have stopped and hiked a number of extra of the park’s options, like Arch Rock and Atlatl Rock with its Native American petroglyphs. The park is deserving of extra exploration than I used to be in a position to give it. 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area Nevada
A fellow biker provides the common salute as he rolls by means of Lake Mead Nationwide Recreation Space.

Again on the BMW, I made my technique to the top of the park’s freeway at its intersection with North Shore Highway (State Route 167). The referenced shore is the financial institution of Lake Mead. The “shore highway” moniker is a little bit of a misnomer. The Southwest’s unprecedented drought has drawn the reservoir all the way down to a file low, so I used to be fairly far from the lake. Whereas not a waterside trek, the experience within the Lake Mead Nationwide Recreation Space is entertaining and exquisite. I used to be again in that fringe setting the place pink outcroppings dot the grey panorama. The fireplace was to my again this time. 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area Nevada
The terrain inside Lake Mead Nationwide Recreation Space is stark, barren, and exquisite.

Farther west on my return towards Vegas, the flatter, muted desert panorama returned. Cactus, desert brush, and the occasional dwarf palm dotted the horizon, and the ultimate leg was stress-free as I traveled again from the Valley of Hearth to the valley of neon. With correct gear selections, this can be a experience that may be made just about year-round, and I’ll actually be again. From the Metropolis of Sin to the Valley of Hearth, it’s a heavenly experience certainly. The Man in Black would approve.