Facebook Page

The Trip to Cedar City plus Southern Nevada Railroad Museum, Valley of Fire plus more 5/2/2019

by Chris Guenzler

Robin Bowers hit freeway traffic due to a six car accident on CA Highway 55 so he was delayed 45 minutes in getting to my house. Once we had his car in my driveway we loaded up the Ford Focus and headed out via Interstate 5 to CA 57 to CA 60 to Interstate 15. We caught up to an eastbound train near Mannix so we got off at Afton Road and drove to a photo location that I knew and we waited for the first train of the trip to come to us.

Union Pacific 7464 East came by our photo location at the west end of Afton Canyon. We drove back out to Interstate 15 and headed north to our first stop of the trip at Boulder City.

Southern Nevada Railroad Museum.

My first picture here would be of an old friend.

Union Pacific GP-30 844.

Pacific Lumber 2-8-2 35.

Jackass & Western L-2, GE-25 Ton.

Union Pacific 2-8-0 284.

Open platform observation car.

Union Pacific United State Mail Railway Post Office Car.

Inside of the Union Pacific United State Mail Railway Post Office Car.

Davenport 30-ton. 250 H.P.

Union Pacific Wooden Caboose 3505.

Jackass & Western Locomotive L-3, GE 80 Ton.

Southern Nevada Railroad Museum 97.

Los Angeles & Salt Lake 1342.

Covered open air car.

Western Pacific caboose 449.

NRSM H12-44 1855.

DRYX F-40PH 231.

Museum scene.

Nevada Southern Caboose Union Pacific 25641.

NRSM Coach 602.

NRSM Coach 603.

NRSM open air car.

NRSM Coach 604.

NRSM Diner 4813.

NRSM power car 102.

Union Pacific GP-30 844.

Union Pacific GP-30 844 and train set for excursions.

A narrow gauge diesel.

Unknown Union Pacific coach.

Union Pacific coach under restoration.

DYRX SDP40F 644.

Track speeder. I walked back and thanked the manager for having us here today. We drove over to A&W for a hot dog and a root beer. From here we headed to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

We paid the fee and started our drive through the park on North Shore Drive.

First view of Lake Mead.

Further down the road our second view of Lake Mead.

The Bowl of Fire.

I love the geography of Nevada.

More scenes from along our route.


The north end of Lake Mead. From here we drove to Valley of Fire State Park.

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and nature preservation area covering nearly 46,000 acres located 16 miles south of Overton, Nevada. The state park derives its name from red sandstone formations, the Aztec Sandstone, which formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park's attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays. It is Nevada's oldest state park, as commemorated with Nevada Historical Marker #150. It was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968.

Valley of Fire is located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, at an elevation between 1,320-3,009 feet. It abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the east at the Virgin River confluence. It lies in a 4 by 6 mi basin.


Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. The rough floor and jagged walls of the park contain brilliant formations of eroded sandstone and sand dunes more than 150 million years old. Other important rock formations include limestones, shales, and conglomerates.


Prehistoric users of the Valley of Fire included the Ancient Pueblo Peoples, also known as the Anasazi, who were farmers from the nearby fertile Moapa Valley. Their approximate span of occupation has been dated from 300 BC to 1150 AD. Their visits probably involved hunting, food gathering, and religious ceremonies, although scarcity of water would have limited their stay. Fine examples of rock art (petroglyphs) left by these ancient peoples can be found at several sites within the park.

The creation of Valley of Fire State Park began with transfer of 8,760 acres of federal land to the state at Nevada in 1931. Work on the park was initiated by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933. During the years of their employment, which continued into the early 1940s, the CCC workers built campgrounds, trails, stone visitor cabins, ramadas, and roads. The park opened in 1934; it achieved official designation by the state legislature in 1935.


The Valley of Fire State Park has a dry and warm climate typical of the Mojave Desert in which it lies. Winters are mild with daytime temperatures ranging from 54 F degrees to 75 F degrees and over night lows in the mid 30 F degrees to mid 40 F degrees Storms moving east from the Pacific Ocean occasionally bring rain during winter months. Daily summer highs usually range from 100 F degrees to 115 F degreesand on occasion may reach near 120 F degrees. Thunderstorms from the Southwestern Monsoon can produce heavy showers during summer. The average annual precipitation is 6.50".

Valley of Fire Road

Valley of Fire Road is the main road accessing and traversing through the park. The 10.5-mile section of the road between the east and west entrances of the park was officially designated as a Nevada Scenic Byway on June 30, 1995.

Activities and amenities

The park has a visitors center plus facilities for picnicking, camping, and hiking. Petroglyphs are seen throughout the park, with Mouse's Tank and Atlatl Rock two areas in particular with numerous petroglyphs that are relatively easily accessible. The park also preserves three stone cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Our Visit

We drove by the east gate then stopped to take some pictures.

Pictures take near Elephant Rock.

Two views along the road.

Pictures take near Cabin/Lone Rocks.

Views along the road.

The Seven Sisters.

More views along the road. We went to the Visitor Center and paid our fee. We then drove the White Dome Road and would stop along the way.

Mouse's Tank.

Rainbow Vista.

Parking lot 1.

Fire Wave.

From along the road. Next we came to the White Dome.

The White Dome area.

Parking lot 2. We then took Fire Canyon Road for our last pictures here.

Views from Fire Canyon Road. We then drove out of the park through Overton where the Union Pacific still has an active branch line up north to Interstate 15 where I drove us straight to Cedar City. We gassed up the car, stopped at Subway for dinner then went and checked into the Knights Inn and called it a night. A very good first day of the trip.