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White Domes Loop Trail

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

This fascinating 1.25 mile loop is an excellent way to get up close and personal with the geology of The Valley of Fire. The trail begins by ascending a small sandy hill towards beautifully colored rock formations, and all around you are striated geologic relics of red, yellow, orange, and white stone. When the trail comes to the top of a small crest you begin descending down into a shallow canyon, and as you hike down the path be sure to look around at the amazing rainbow of colors, not only located on the rock walls, but also under your feet along the rocky trail—the colors are bizarre, especially the yellow pebbles scattered along the ground against the pinkish-orange sand. A little further down the trail you come to a spectacular example of erosion at work, just to the right of the trail you will see an ancient sand dune that has chunks of its outer layer missing revealing the striped display underneath—this is caused by underground streams that percolated through the ground causing minerals in the sand to oxidize. The biggest surprise along this short trail awaits you just around the next corner…a slot canyon! Who would have guessed? This is truly a highlight of the park, don’t miss it! Well, you might want to skip it if it has recently rained, because the water can get several feet deep within the slot canyon, otherwise do make sure you hike to this wonder. The rest of the trail climbs back up out of the canyon to the parking lot and affords great views of many cacti and yucca plants. If you only do one hike in The Valley of Fire make it White Domes!


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