North America, United States
Established in 1935, Valley of Fire is the oldest and largest state park in Nevada. It is named for the magnificent red sandstone formations which were formed over 150 million years ago (during the age of the dinosaurs!) from great shifting sand dunes.
Valley of Fire is situated in the Mojave Desert approximately 60 miles from Las Vegas. Within the park are numerous ancient petroglyphs which provide evidence of the park having once been occupied by prehistoric people. These people include the Anasazi; farmers from the nearby Moapa Valley who are thought to have used the Valley of Fire for hunting and for religious ceremonies.
Valley of Fire is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. It has an abundance of creosote brush, brittlebush and burro bush and looks particularly beautiful during the spring time when desert marigold, desert mallow and indigo bush all blossom here. Wildlife creatures in the park include coyotes, bobcats, skunks and a range of lizard and snakes. Many of these animals are nocturnal, however, and are unlikely to be seen by visitors although the desert big horn sheep which reside here are an exception to the rule and are fairly likely to be spotted during daytime hours.
Popular activities within the Valley of Fire include hiking, picnicking and camping. Rock climbing is possible in some designated areas of the park – visitors should enquire at the Visitor Centre to learn where these areas are. The Visitor Centre also provides fascinating exhibits on the geology and history of the park and can advise visitors on the park’s different hikes. Places of interest in the park include various intriguing rock formations such as Arch Rock, Elephant Rock, the Beehives, Seven Sisters and Balanced Rock.
There are two campgrounds in the park, both of which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Atatl Campground is home to some of the park’s finest petroglyphs and so we recommend heading here even if you are not planning on having an overnight visit.
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