Snowy Miracle on The Strip, Oh Yeah and Valley of Fire

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Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
Dec 31, 2017
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https://evermoremoments.smugmug.com/Las-Vegas-2019/

This is barely a ‘Trip Report’ since our hiking mileage was 1.2 miles, but I wanted to share with SOMEONE! I feel like this report is going to be picture heavy, so…get ready.

My best friend since 1st grade (Katie), her sister (Hannah), and myself have always talked about taking trips together. Excuses (usually money or getting PTO) always come up. However, their cousin passed away on New Year’s Day. He was only 30, with a sickly pregnant wife, and a little two-year-old. This cousin was like their brother and his passing was a momentous shock! As tragic as this event has been, it really motivated us to not waste anymore time and make sure we spend time together, because life is short and uncertain.

Hannah and her husband live in Las Vegas, NV. So…we went.

I drove myself and Katie the 8 hours to Hannah’s house, after work on Friday 02.15.19. It snowed while we went through the Mojave! It was my first time driving in snow, and unashamedly admit that I was freaking out (scared and happy). Luckily, Katie has a lot of experience driving in snow and she made sure that I understood it wasn’t as dangerous as I was envisioning.

I made sure to pull over and get gas so I could spend some time in it and take a selfie.

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I am so glad I wore the proper footwear.
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The first night (Saturday), we got all done up and planned to party hard! But drama consumed us and…the half hour and ONE cocktail I got at the Stratosphere was the extent of the party. Haha

One selfie, The End (pretty much).

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Hannah and I were determined to have fun on Sunday though, and Katie made the effort along the way too! We enjoyed Hexx (my favorite restaurant in Vegas), the Bellagio Fountain, Chandelier Bar, and Taco Bell on the Strip (BEST PLACE, EVERYONE GO! Alcohol and a DJ, just good clean fun!).

At Hexx.

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I always make pathetic attempts to take photos of The Fountain Show and fail miserably...I just never want to tote my tripod with me on the Strip. I am still so slow at adjusting my settings and it all happens too fast! This attempt was no different, and my friends wanted to leave when it was done. This Fountain, while I don't even really enjoy the show is my White Whale! Haha

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Slushies with Vodka (I didn't have one, but cool that they are there)!

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Honestly, the best part of the trip wasn’t the hiking, it was the heavy snow falling on The Strip. It was just this wonderful miracle and I feel so lucky to have been there in that moment. Apparently, it hasn't snowed that much on The Strip in a decade!

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Everyone on The Strip just got quiet…People huddled under awnings and took out their phones to capture the moment. I have never been outside when it starts to snow, and it is something special…I refused to go under an awning, so got fairly soaked. I didn’t realize snow could be so…fat?

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Next day (Monday), we headed to Valley of Fire! I had been wanting to go since I learnt of this place the last time I was in Vegas, in 2017. Unfortunately, my friends are not early risers and one of them was hungover. We didn’t make it to the Fire Wave TH until 10:30. It was pretty packed, but not as bad as I assumed it would be.

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'Please, allow me to assist you to the trail below...'
Yeah, even I don't know what I am doing. LOL

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The Wave is here...I guess.
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So much texture, color, and beauty in this rock.

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Is this 'In bloom', or does it always look like this?

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WILDLIFE!

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Totoro is in this photo for scale. I am not going to say what these Cacti look like to me...

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We took a LONG time to hike the 0.6 miles to The Wave. It was a fun and leisurely hike. After that, we drove to the White Domes (which everyone said we MUST see), but my friends were too tired to walk anymore. So we just hung around the TH and took photos.

I feel like someone else has posted this guy and his dog before. He let us know that they have an Instagram account: BikeDog

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I am down there somewhere...

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COME ON!!! DOESN'T IT LOOK LIKE THE MOON?!

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The Valley of Fire did not disappoint. So many different colors: deep reds, oranges, and so many wonderful pastels! Everything there just towers over you and seems so grand. I felt humbled and in awe to be there. I cannot wait to go back by myself or with other people who want to stay a little longer.

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IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
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I was in Vegas on Saturday night (16th) for a concert that ended up getting cancelled. Since we had extra time we spent a few more hours in Gold Butte on Saturday afternoon and then we went hiking in the snow in Red Rock Canyon NCA on Sunday.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
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Messages
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I was in Vegas on Saturday night (16th) for a concert that ended up getting cancelled. Since we had extra time we spent a few more hours in Gold Butte on Saturday afternoon and then we went hiking in the snow in Red Rock Canyon NCA on Sunday.
Aww we just missed each other! Haha

Oh, there was snow at Red Rock? Very cool! Bet that was gorgeous.
 

Stephanie B

Steph and Blake
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Joined
Dec 7, 2017
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Thanks for sharing, Miya. There's a lot more to see and do in the Valley of Fire. Plus there's stuff to do outside the park. Check this out:

Bowl of Fire

FYI.....That cactus with the reddish, curved thorns is not in bloom. It always looks that way.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
844
Thanks for sharing, Miya. There's a lot more to see and do in the Valley of Fire. Plus there's stuff to do outside the park. Check this out:

Bowl of Fire

FYI.....That cactus with the reddish, curved thorns is not in bloom. It always looks that way.
Yes, so much cool stuff around!
Oh cool, thanks for letting me know! :)
 

Dayhiker4

Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
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Since it had been raining/snowing there was a good chance that White Dome Loop was flooded in the slot canyon section. It least it has been every time I've hiked out there and since I live in Vegas I've hiked out there a lot.
Some places for you to research for your next trip.
Crazy Hill, its near the Fire Wave Parking, there are some small arches in the wash if you go that way
The Swoosh sometimes called Striped Rock.
Once they put in the marked trail to Fire Wave you can now do a loop of Crazy Hill, the Swoosh, Kaloin Wash and Fire Wave. The wash may have water in it near the road crossing if its been raining. The Park now does a guided hike of this loop and in the past they have marked it with flagging.
The Rocks off to the South on Fire Dome Road are fun to explorer with their colors and there is an arch there
Top of the World Arch, you may need someone to take you there. When I last did it there were markers for it and its a maze of canyons back there.
The Pinnacles Loop is my favorite trail. Its kind of marked now but in the past there were no trail markers
Arrowhead Arch is an easy arch to get to and fun to try and photograph
Typically January and February are the best months, in my opinion to hike out there.
NOTE: None of this is secret any more and information for these and more can be found online
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
Dec 31, 2017
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Thanks for all the info!!
I really want to go back and see Pastel Canyon and just explore in general. It was such a beautiful place :)
 

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Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
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Sep 23, 2016
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Miya, Loved your photos and trip report. Thanks for posting. Wishing You the Best!
 

westy

Member
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Mar 10, 2016
Messages
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It has been a VERY wet year so far, 5"+ of rain when our yearly average is ~4". And 2018 was just under 2" for the year. Snowed like 3 times? 4? so far. It should be quite the bloom fest this year.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Joined
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Messages
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It has been a VERY wet year so far, 5"+ of rain when our yearly average is ~4". And 2018 was just under 2" for the year. Snowed like 3 times? 4? so far. It should be quite the bloom fest this year.
Yeah, too bad I will miss that. It is on my list to see a cactus bloom this year, but might not be able to fit it in this year.
 

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