Scenic USA - Nevada

Rainbow Vista

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Rainbow Vista - Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Not far from Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire has become one of Nevada's most popular state parks. Also the oldest and largest, this brightly colored desert locale leaves little doubt about the origin of its name. Located on the eastern edge of the Mojave Desert, the park puts on a red rock display of canyons, mesas, playa lake beds, and arches with a variety of desert plants and animals. From a distance, the land seems barren and lifeless. But close up inspections show the valley's rocky landscape is alive, where niches are filled with small nocturnal mammals and reptiles, plus several kinds of succulent plants and prickly cactus. The common saltbush, creosote bush and bursage are outshone by the showy Teddy Bear cholla, beavertail cactus and whipple's yucca. Depending on the spring rains, the desert is occasionally covered in a brief blanket of colorful wildflowers. The seeds of over 250 varieties of flowering plants lay dormant, waiting for an opportune moment.
   This view of Rainbow Vista, found in the northern section of the park nearby the White Domes, highlights one of the parks multi-colored landscapes. When these vivid earth tones of red, gold, and orange combine with various green plants, dramatic blue skies and distant indigo and purple mountains, visitors are rewarded with a unique desert rainbow.

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