Sisters are called that because of the unusual results of aeolian
erosion on the bright red sandstone. This type of erosion
is common in deserts. In the Valley of Fire wind erosion creates natures
sculptures in numbers.
Everywhere are examples of the winds action on the soft red sandstone.
As the wind abrades the rocks disarticulating them one grain at a time
it leaves its mark on the stone. Each grain freed from its place joins
in with the wind to free more of its cohorts. The horde finally rests in
dunes and then moves and shifts as the wind pushes it.
Over millions of years, what was once a ridge or a mountain, has been
reduced by the relentless action of the winter, water, heat and cold, to
relatively slender stone pillars. Sometimes they stand together. The
Seven Sister's do not actually resemble people in anything but an
imagined sense. They are icons sculpted out of red sandstone by nature.
They represent the struggle of all forms, animate and stationary against
the forces of time and nature.
is a bathroom conveniently located here to assist in travelers struggles
against nature. There is some shade and there are picnic tables and
trash cans. This is a good pit stop area because it is interesting and
usually not crowded.
other element you have to deal with here are the manmade features. While
they make it convenient to picnic here, the trails, tables and other
artifacts can intrude on what might have been an outstanding image. In
some instances thought was only given to convenience by the early
workers. Who can blame them it is hot out here.
In order to get a decent photo of these unique formations, you just have
to move around the place and look for a good perspective. The angle of
the sunlight is usually not an issue but noon is usually a good time to
take photos here because it gives you the most flexibility in regard to
Your light angle not only reveals surfaces but it also shows relief when
the shadows are just right. As you try to get a picture of everything
you will notice that it is not possible to get the best shadow angles in
It is difficult to get all of the Seven Sister's in a single shot. Since
the road is in all the good angles incorporating it into the photo makes
sense. This picture was taken east of the Seven Sisters about half of a
mile away. If you are coming from the east note that this will be your
best 'group' shot of the sisters.