We recently posted an article about What to See Between Vegas and Zion and were sorely reprimanded that we missed the Valley of Fire. In our haste to write a well written article that’s helpful and articulate, missing out on highlighting one of the better state parks found anywhere, was quite the oversight; so here I am correcting that mistake.
The Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire is Nevada’s largest and oldest state park, it was dedicated back in 1935. The park has ancient trees that dot the land and fantastic petrified wood. You’ll also be able to see some 3,000 year old Indian petroglyphs that are always so fun to see, as you look at them you can’t help but picture in your mind the time when they were carved, and what the land must have looked like back then.
There is a full-scale visitors center that has fantastic displays that teach you about the area and the history behind it as well.
Valley of Fire Location
You can find the Valley of Fire located about 58 miles north-east of the strip in Las Vegas, in the Mojave Desert. And don’t worry it’s open year round so no matter when you’re coming through you’ll be able to visit this magnificent place. The park itself is massive and includes an area of over 35,000 acres. It’s quite easy to find, if you traveling from Vegas or from St George you’ll take the same exit 80 off of I 15 towards Ute, and you’ll run right into it.
Here’s a map with directions from Las Vegas:
Why the Name Valley of Fire?
Often people wonder and ask where did the name Valley of Fire come from? They usually think it was because there was an old fire that went through the area, or worse, they think it’s always hotter than a fire there (which sometimes is the case in summer). But for those who have been you quickly see where the name comes from, as the sun begins to set and the light dims slightly the brilliant sandstone formations that make up the park come alive and appear as if they’re on fire. It really is quite the display of nature reminding us who the real artist is.
What to do and see at the Valley of Fire
The most popular activities available at the Valley of Fire are camping, hiking, photography and pick-nicks. As you wander through the park for the first time you’ll probably feel like you’ve been or seen this place before, and that’s because you have; a handful of movies (Transformers 2007) have been shot in this area because it’s so striking and dramatic in it’s landscape.
Some of the more popular things to see at the Valley of Fire include Arch Rock, Atlatl Rock (petrologys), the Beehives, Balanced Rock, the Rainbow Vista (our favorite), Seven Sisters, and Elephant Rock (I apologize I don’t have images of all of these amazing places to include within this post, but you can find these images all over online).
Valley of Fire Wildlife
If you’re hoping for some wildlife when you visit Valley of Fire then keep your eyes open for lizards, snakes, the big horn sheep and antelope. There are a fair amount of nocturnal animals as well like the bobcat, coyote, kit fox and others, that you’ll have to keep your night eyes open to spot.
All in all visiting the Valley of Fire is something you need to check off your bucket list. It really is a stunning place with deep rich history behind it. If you’d like more information or would like to see the state website click here.