Mouse’s Tank

Location: Valley of Fire
Distance: 0.5 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Water Available: No

Photography by Carl Moore

Getting There: About 45 minutes north of Las Vegas, getting there you would want to take interstate 15 North to the Valley of Fire exit. Any bathroom breaks, refreshments, or fireworks need to be done at the service station at this exit. Proceed 11 miles west to the Valley of Fire State Park Fee Station. ($6.00 day pass p/vehicle). After passing the entry, you will drive past beehive, arches, and a few other scenic stop spots. This trail is located behind the visitor’s center, You will turn off the main scenic drive toward the visitor’s center, continue past the visitors center about three-quarters of a mile to the mouse’s tank trailhead on your right.

The Hike: This is an easy exciting hike starting off you can’t help but to get mesmerized by the glowing red rocks around you. The Aztec sandstone burns red under the ever so setting sun, the trail is a nice beach like sand, only that is red. A short distance in, looking at the rock faces you capture glimpse into the past. Where there are etchings through the iron in the rock, giving us a look at how they interpreted the world. There are some possible meanings behind these markings, but there has been some controversy of the meanings.  In whichever case it interesting to see evidence of history right before your eyes.  The trail of art along the walls of the red sandstone lead to “Mouse’s Tank” which is the water hole  you see in the photo above. This water hole served a purpose, as which all water holes seem to do in the desert. But this one served a purpose to Mouse, Mouse was an indian boy (not sure of which tribe), when settlers come they killed most of his tribe, but Mouse hid in the area eluding the settlers. Mouse was able to elude the settlers in the valley of Aztec sandstones and due to the water hole that he discovered here, was able to survive the harsh conditions in this area. When you are done, just return the way you came in. If you want to do some adventuring, some off trail bouldering can take you to some secluded, serene, and breathtaking views of landscape and rock formations. Venturing off trail or on trail be sure to follow the leave no trace policies to where the next visitor that comes will get the same experience of walking through a valley showing you history, you do not want to see history of trash in the bush.

(Story of Mouse is hearsay at this point)


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