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2016 Fall Mountain Trip Part 7; Former Nevada State Route 40 on Valley of Fire Highway and Valley of Fire State Park

Following spending a night at The Stratosphere I headed north on I-15 the following morning to Valley of Fire Highway which was once part of Nevada State Route 40.






This blog entry is the 7th in the 2016 Fall Mountain Trip Series, Part 6 can be found here:

2016 Mountain Trip Part 6; Las Vegas from the Stratosphere

Valley of Fire Highway is an approximately 18.6 mile route connecting I-15 east through Valley of Fire State Park to NV 169.  Valley of Fire Highway was originally designated NV 40 and first appears on the 1935 Nevada State Highway Map.

1935 State Highway Map

During the 1976 Nevada State Highway renumbering NV 40 and NV 12 were combined into the new NV 169.  Ultimately it seems NV 169 was never applied in the field to Valley of Fire Highway and the route appears without a designation first on the 1982 State Highway Map.

1982 State Highway Map

From I-15 Valley of Fire Highway begins at exit 75.


Valley of Fire Road heads directly east towards the Muddy Mountains.





The Muddy Mountains largely consist of sand stone ridges.  As Valley of Fire Highway approaches the Muddy Mountains it descends a sweeping grade east through a canyon.






At the boundary of Valley of Fire State Park the routing of Valley of Fire Highway is signed as a Nevada Scenic Byway.






Valley of Fire State Park is Nevada's oldest State Park having been created in 1935 along with the NV 40 designation.  Valley of Fire State Park largely consists of Aztec Sandstone formations endemic to the Muddy Mountains.  The sandstone formations were formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago.  Valley of Fire State Park is a popular hiking destination for Las Vegas Valley and was most notably featured as a set piece in the original Total Recall.





Probably the best road side views of Valley of Fire State Park are located just off of Valley of Fire Highway on Mouse Tank Road.







Emerging through the Muddy Mountains on Valley of Fire Highway the Lake Mead Recreation Area can be seen to the eastbound the sandstone bluffs.





Leaving the Scenic Byway portion of Valley of Fire Highway I encountered a Bighorn Sheep.  I would shortly find myself at the Lake Mead Recreation Area near Old St. Thomas Road which was part of NV 12.


Part 8 of this blog series can be found here:

2016 Fall Mountain Trip Part 8; Former Nevada State Route 12 on Old St. Thomas Road

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