Almost every time I drive up Interstate 15 to Utah I make a side trip to the Valley of Fire. Mornings and evenings are spectacular there and even when it’s hot the last hour or so in the early morning or later as the sun begins to descend, are incredible.
The road in doesn’t offer that many options for exposing the rainbow colored formations but there are plenty of places to park and head off onto the rock and create your own off-trail destinations.
In the evening one of my favorite spots to park is near the Rainbow Vista Trail but rather than following the trail I veer slightly northward and make my way through a series of fins to a point where the views open out to Silica Dome, with a maze of mud-red canyons that are easy to make your way down into (though easy to get lost in if you don’t keep orienting yourself to Silica Dome).
Sometimes getting lost is half the fun but take care if you head down into the maze when darkness is not too far off. The photography is incredible but make sure you have a headlamp with you just in case.