This past December we planned a return trip for the Spring thinking it would be cooler. So not knowing that I would be staying in Vegas for two weeks working back-to-back tradeshows, we planned a weekend where we would stay at the Element and do some hiking in the park. Funnily enough the weekend landed between the two shows and it afforded me an escape from the strip even if it was for just a few days.
The only thing was, at 6:00 a.m. it was already 90 and at 11:00 it hit 100! But we are troopers (sort of) and did the best we could with camera equipment, sunscreen, water etc. We arrived at the park at 8:00 when they opened (tip: you can actually arrive earlier than the website states, you just need $10 to self-pay and you can get it much earlier when it is still cooler) and prepared for a day of photos.
Since my last trip I have a new camera which I am still learning to use, so this was basically practice for our trip coming up in May where we will be going to Zion, Coyote Buttes, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon and Moab.
Last time I took photos of the landscape, except when I was capturing the chipmunks sharing our lunch (which I know you aren’t supposed to do!). You can see those photos in my post on my trip as well as additional ones in my Flickr album.
But as I am much more of a macro girl, this time instead of looking up, I was looking down!
And what you see there is such amazing color, unbelievable in a place that is for the most part so dry and dusty, it always surprised me to turn a corner, or come over a little hill and see flowers in brilliant colors such as these:
Reminds me of one of my favorite cactus photos from Sedona. I love the craziness of the colors and things like miniature trees..or how does this happen?
By the time we left the park in the afternoon we were exhausted and I don’t think I have ever drank as much water as I did on that day! We headed back to the Element.
By the way, I love this hotel! And President Obama had even stayed there since the last time we had been there. It is one of the only “green” hotels in the area and given that the President is not very popular in Vegas, he stayed at this Starwood property 15-20 minutes off the strip.
The only thing keeping me from falling into bed back at the hotel (after a shower of course) was knowing that we were going to a very special restaurant for dinner. Food is a great motivator for me!
There are more photos from this macro-focused trip in my Flickr album.
Visiting Valley of Fire it a great way to get away from the strip or the day and see nature at its finest. Although I am thinking winter might be the best time to visit because it can get pretty darn hot! You can enter the park through Overton and exit close to Lake Mead so you don’t have to take the same route there and back, you can make a round trip and see different scenery.
How about you? Have you had the opportunity to visit a desert park? What was your favorite part?