Photos from the State of Nevada

A state in the southwestern region of the United States, Nevada is home to Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and other fascinating places.  Ancient Pleistocene mammals roamed this land that was once much wetter than today.

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park is about an hour north of Las Vegas, NV.  The park has numerous hiking trails and shaded picnic areas with amazing scenery.  Red Aztec sandstone formations make up most of the park.

Humans have inhabited this region for thousands of years.  Ancient Native American petroglyphs can be seen on rock formations throughout the park.

Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada

It doesn’t take long to be surrounded by the large red Aztec sandstone formations.

Pastel (Pink) Canyon

A multi-colored canyon with red, orange, yellow, white, purple and pink pastel Aztec sandstone.

Fire Wave Trailhead

An easy hike with nice scenery.

Rainbow Vista

An easy hike with nice scenery.

Valle de Fuego

An easy hike with nice scenery.

Lake Mead

National Recreation Area

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a large park surrounding the lake.  Despite lower water levels, there’s still plenty of boat access and recreational activities.  The park also has some interesting abandoned areas to explore.

Callville Bay

The rising waters of Lake Mead submerged the original Old Callville settlement, which was the county seat for Pah-Ute County, Arizona Territory in the 1800’s.

Echo Bay

Lower water levels have left most of Echo Bay high and dry.  There is still access to the water and fishing seems to be good.

Las Vegas Bay

When the waters of Lake Mead were at the highest, this bay was a popular place for boating and swimming.

Las Vegas Bay: 2020 vs 1950s

The image on the left is from 2020, the image on the right is from the 1950s.  Water levels in the 1950s were low compared to 1983, when Lake Mead was full.  Since the 1980s, Lake Mead water levels have continued to decline.  There’s still a chance for a “black swan” event.  Heavy rains could once again fill the lake in the future.

Las Vegas Bay

Signs of human activity are all around, clues to this area’s past popularity when the water was higher.  Water covered most of this area in the 1980’s.

St. Thomas

St. Thomas was submerged by the rising waters of Lake Mead.  Now the lake is low, the town is exposed and accessible from a nearby foot path.

Las Vegas Wash

The water in this stream comes from Lake Las Vegas.  The constant flow of water sustains a wetlands area with hiking trails.  The fire pit in the bottom left of the photo was used by people visiting this beach when the water was higher.  Today it’s mostly forgotten.

Forgotten Beach at Las Vegas Bay

Even though the water is gone, there’s still nice hiking on the nearby Shoreline Trail.

Las Vegas Bay

The view from the opposite side of the bay, looking toward the former marina and beach.

Redstone Trailhead

Red sandstone formations at this hiking and picnic spot.

Redstone Trailhead

Red sandstone formations at this hiking and picnic spot.

Dry Cove

Upper Gypsum Wash Cove with no more water.

Gypsum Wash

A stream with no water.

Gypsum Wash

When Lake Mead was full, this area was under water.


Lake Mead National Recreation Area is known for the lake.  There are also lots of other interesting geological features to explore.

Bowl of Fire

A geological formation of red sandstone in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, from a distance.

Red Rock Canyon

National Conservation Area

Red Rock Canyon has all sorts of activities and sites to see.  In the winter, the weather gets cold enough to snow.  Wild burros are regularly seen roaming around.

Mt. Wilson

Large mountains and red sandstone geological formations can be found around Red Rock Canyon.

Colorado River

South of the Hoover Dam, the Colorado River continues to flow into a series of smaller lakes created by less famous dams.  These reservoirs help control the flow of the river and provide water to much of the Southwest.

Scenic Blue Water Point on the Colorado River

A nice place for hiking or relaxing near the river.

El Dorado Canyon

Gold and silver mines were common in this area.  Before roads were built, this canyon was only accessible by steamboat.

Eagle Wash Nature Preserve

The wash leads to the river where there’s a beach on the shoreline.

Las Vegas

And surrounding areas

Each year, millions of international tourists travel to Las Vegas to visit the world famous mega-casinos.  Most visitors and locals aren’t aware of the Pleistocene graveyard beneath their feet.  Around 10,000 years ago, Nevada was much wetter and supported a diverse range of prehistoric animals and ancient humans.

Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

Ice Age mammals once roamed these lands.  Evidence of their existence can be found here.  The park is relatively new and doesn’t have any facilities.  There’s a parking area on Moccasin Rd. with easy access to the park.  Tule Springs is popular with dog walkers.


The general area of these photos