But the park has so much more to offer. Suggested must-dos for the park include checking out the two first-come, first-served campgrounds and their attached back-road scenic drive, as well as stopping at Atlatl Rock to view the 2,000-year-old petroglyphs. You may even overhear a five-year-old ask her parent while referring to the petroglyphs, “why didn’t they just take a picture?” There may be signs of wildlife, like various birds, lizards, big horn sheep, or those rare desert tortoises if you are lucky.
While on White Dome Road, be sure to check out the often-overlooked Fire Canyon Road and get out of your car for the full experience. The east side of the park is far less busy than White Dome Road, and people density decreases immensely after 2:00 pm. Plan a picnic at the Seven Sisters rock formation or the Cabins, built in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation.
Before you reach the east entrance station, you can stop and view the marker commemorating the rough road built through the park in 1912 as part of the Arrowhead Trail. This trail connected Salt Lake City to Los Angeles and was the precursor to Interstate 15. This area of the park is very open and is spotted with a variety of hiking trails as well as an equestrian trail.
From the east entrance station, you can either backtrack the way you came through the park or continue east to Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This does require a separate entrance fee, but the road winds through the national park on a scenic drive and will dump you in either east Las Vegas or Henderson.
Try to stay for dusk and watch the rock formations ignite and come alive. Feel the breeze on your face, take the landscape in and connect with your environment. Some would say being here has healing properties, rejuvenates your mind, and feeds your soul. Be aware the park closes at sunset, and when the sun descends in the sky, temperatures drop, and the desert becomes very dark, so be prepared.