Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mouse’s Tank

IMG_1329At the turn of the century there was a real bad dude around these parts (Valley of Fire State Park) named Mouse.  Not a friendly fellow; he had a habit of stealing from miners and homesteaders and then making sure they did not live to tell the tale.  He hid from the posse in the red rock canyons up a particular wash that contained a deep round depression holding water most of the year.  Hence, the name “Mouse’s Tank”.  They did not actually kill him there, but the hide-out name stuck.

IMG_1328Although the outlaw story is interesting, what is really special about the hike up the wash to the water hole are the petroglyphs on the rocks along the way.  (Petroglyphs are carved into the rock; pictograms are painted on the rock.  Something we learned at the Visitor’s Center today.)  The Valley of Fire petroglyphs date back 1,000s of years. 

We had beautiful weather on our outing today, but last night it rained about 1.5 inches.  The Valley of Fire State Park typically gets 4 inches of rain a year.  You do the math.  Not too many more rainy days for this location.

DSC_0010 (8)Besides water running in small rivers through the park this morning, we had an unexpected visitor in our campsite.  A desert bighorn sheep.  Seems he was enjoying all the new greenery from the rain.


  1. WOW this looks like a great place, petroglyphs AND a bighorn IN your campground?? Lucky you two!!


  2. We didn't know about Valley of Fire until Mike's niece told us about the park. It is fantastic!

  3. Glad you are getting in some good hiking. We loved this park, it is sooo interesting.


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