Fuck! Ffffuck!! Holy F*ck! The words just kept falling out of my mouth as I turned each corner of this stunning park and gasped in awe at the beauty that was strewn out before me. I chose this as a destination because of the glowing reviews online and beautiful photographs, but I didn't truly expect to have my mind fucking blown into a thousand pieces. To be fair, this was my first camping trip in, well, ages, so my mind was ripe for the blowing. Showing you these photographs now just makes me cringe a bit because there is nothing that can compare with driving in over the bland North Vegas highway, past the 'Gas N' Sip', down the dusty road and then turning the corner to a winding road down into a valley that is bursting with red daggers out of the white, black, and brown landscape. You feel like you're in that scene from Superman where he throws the crystal in the snow and all of the huge sparkly crystals rise out of the barren landscape far into the sky revealing his hidden Utopia homeland. Yup, it's just like that- but red rocks instead of Superman crystals.
It's only an hour's drive from Vegas, and you have your choice of two campgrounds (which, are basically in the same place but divided by some of those huge red rock formations). Arch Rock campground can accommodate larger trailers and has flush toilets and showers for $30/night, and Atlatl campground (pronounced At-lah-tl), is smaller and in my opinion a bit more quaint which has pit toilets and no showers for $20. Remember the $10 park entrance fee gets redistributed into your camping fee. I'm daring to state that this campsite, particularly #19 in Atlatl, is the most stunning campsite I've ever stayed in. The sites are nestled up against the rock walls, most of them along a tiny one-way curvy road that circles the camp, so they are very private.
The park highlights are very well marked so it's easy to get around and find the various vistas, hikes, and petroglyphs. Most of the listed attractions can be seen within a 30-minute walk, but like one ranger said to me, "You can just keep going if you want- You're able to walk anywhere here. Just make sure you have a good sense of direction to get you back!"
So, my advice is to pick a spot, bring a bottle of water, and put one foot in front of the other. Each step is a wonderland.