The Valley of Fire, aside from having a very cool name, is the oldest state park in Nevada and a popular place to visit by both state residents as well as from out of state visitors. The natural beauty of this section of desert was not lost on early settlers or early conservationists, and it should come as no surprise that this area quickly became famous with local residents and would eventually jump to the top of the list when states began thinking about state and federal parks.
Where Is The Valley Of Fire?
The Valley of Fire is located only 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, north of the main part of the Lake Mead Recreational area. This state park is also to the south of the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The park is known for its red sandstone landscape and remarkable desert beauty, in addition to having multiple unique rock formations and petroglyphs.
How Do You Get There?
There are multiple ways to get to the Valley of Fire State Park and see what all the hub bub is about. From the south it is possible to follow Highway 167 through Lake Mead until you hit the Valley of Fire Highway, which is the obvious signal to take a left and follow it into the park. As 167 turns into 169 there are hotels to stay at and multiple side roads that lead to various parts of the Valley of Fire Park, as well.
The Valley of Fire Road also connects with Interstate 15 to the west, meaning visitors out of Henderson and Las Vegas can jump right on the Interstate to get out of town and to the park. Both Highway 169 and Interstate 15 allow drivers to reach the park from the north, as well.
Brief History Of Valley Of Fire
All evidence shows that there were many prehistoric people who used the Valley of Fire, and evidence suggests that included ancient Pueblo peoples as well as the Anasazi. The area was of special importance for thousands of years before modern times, and much of their rock art (petroglyphs) can still be found in this area. It was no surprise in 1935 when they become Nevada’s first state park, and the area would receive designation as an official National Natural Landmark a few decades later in 1968.
This remains one of the most popular natural attractions in the state of Nevada, ranking up there with Lake Mead and Lake Tahoe.
Incredible Natural Beauty
While many people first visit to see the petroglyphs, and with good reason, the stunning natural beauty of the park really sticks out. This isn’t plain scruffy desert. There are many incredible, deep red sandstone rock formations, arches, white top formations, and even sand dunes that have been undisturbed for thousands of years. There’s a good chance of spotting plenty of wildlife while out and about, and if you haven’t visited before you’ll be stunned at the many different rock formations and looks the desert can give.