Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and wildlife sanctuary approximately 16 miles south of Overton, Nevada. This national park in the USA got its name from the red sandstone formations that formed here from sand dunes 150 million years ago. It is particularly interesting to see when these formations are illuminated by the sun, then it looks as if the stones are on fire.
Covering almost 19,000 acres, Valley of Fire Park is the largest and oldest national park in Nevada. Its rough soil and jagged rock faces of the park contain brilliant formations of eroded sandstone and sand dunes that are more than 150 million years old.
The Valley of Fire is located 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Las Vegas. It lies at an altitude of between 610 and 790 meters in a 6.4 by 9.7 km basin.
Many visitors come here to hike the many trails and admire the beautiful fiery red rock formations. An absolute must on a tour of Nevada.
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Flora and fauna in Fire Valley
The flora and fauna of Fire State Park consists primarily of bushes, shrubs and various species of cacti. There are very few flowers here. In spring, desert marigold, indigo bushes and desert mallow bloom here.
Animals such as ravens, finches and the cuckoo are easy to spot during the day. But most of the animals that live here tend to be nocturnal due to the daytime heat, such as coyotes, foxes, skunks, lizards, snakes, rabbits, and squirrels. The rare California gopher tortoise, native to the Valley of Fire, is a protected species.
Sights at Valley Fire Park
Many visitors come here to admire and photograph the beautiful rock formations. We have put together some interesting formations for you here:
Arch Rock was created over many millennia by strong winds and rain. Over time, however, the arch will become thinner and thinner, so that it will eventually collapse. Many visitors come here to photograph this fascinating rock arch, which glows fiery red in the sun.
A location in the Valley of Fire Park that has a lot of petroglyphs. The highlight is the Atlatl rock painting, a predecessor of the bow and arrow. It is a device used to launch a spear. The petroglyphs can be reached via a staircase.
In addition to the Atlatl Rock attraction, this is one of the campgrounds in the park.
Unusual sandstone formations that look like beehives. They were created by the erosive forces of wind and water. Here you can take a nice walk through the rocky dunes and explore the countryside.
There are many impressive rock formations at the visitor center. One of them is the Balanced Rock, which is a good photo opportunity.
highlight here is the fossil wood that grew in this area some 225 million years ago. All organic matter has been removed by sun, wind, water and has now been replaced by minerals.
Mouse’s Tank is a natural pool in the rock where water collects after rainfall. This water sometimes stays there for several months. The area was named after the Indian ‘Little Mouse’, who hid there for a long time.
150 million years ago, these multicolored sandstones were formed by natural erosion. Rainbow Vista is an overlook in Valley of Fire National Park. It is also a popular photo motif.
Fir Canyon / Silica Dome
This vantage point offers an excellent view of the deep red sandstone of Fire Canyon and the unique geological formations of the Silica Dome.
White Domes Area
In the White Domes Area are sandstone formations in various contrasting colors. There is also the White Domes Trail, which leads as a circular route through the rock formations. In between, many yucca plants grow.
Fascinating red rock formations that are easily accessible. Seven Sisters are a group of 7 tall red boulders surrounded by sandy flat desert.
The historic cabins now have a picnic area. The huts were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s to provide shelter for passers-by.
This well-known formation is located at the eastern entrance. She looks like an elephant and is a popular photo motif.
Petroglyphs in Fire State Park
Petroglyphs are found throughout the park. However, most of these are located at Mouse’s Tank and Atlatl Rock, which are easily accessible.
Valley of Fire Road
The Valley of Fire Road runs through the park and is 17 kilometers long, connecting the park’s east and west entrances. It has been designated the Nevada Scenic Byway since June 30, 1995.
Activities in the Valley of Fire Nevada
Several picnic, camping and hiking facilities are located in the park. Many fascinating hiking trails are available. In the visitor center you will get suggestions for day hikes of different lengths.
Mountain bike tours through the area are particularly popular here, but you should always have enough to drink with you.
A visitor center features exhibits on the geology, ecology, prehistory, and history of the park and its surroundings. The visitor center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Campsites – Valley of fire Camping
There are two campgrounds totaling 72 units at Fire Valley Park. The campsites are equipped with shaded tables, barbecue, water and toilets. Other accommodation options are in Overton or Mesquite.
Climate in the Valley of Fire
The Valley of Fire National Park has a dry and warm climate typical of the Mojave Desert. Winters are mild, with temperatures that can range from freezing to 25°C. In summer, temperatures can reach up to 47°C. There are large temperature fluctuations at night.
It mostly rains in winter and summer, so it’s best to visit in spring and autumn.
Getting married at Valley Fire Park
In addition to Las Vegas weddings, the Valley of Fire Valley is also becoming increasingly popular for outdoor weddings. Weddings at Elephant Rock, the Seven Sisters and Rainbow Vista are particularly popular.
History of the Valley of Fire
The area’s first inhabitants were the ancient Pueblo peoples, also known as the Anasazi, from the nearby fertile Moapa Valley. The most obvious evidence of occupation are the petroglyphs carved into the rocks some 2500 years ago. They probably lived here from 300 BC. to about 1150 AD. Hunting and religious ceremonies were held in the Valley. Several Anasazi rock paintings can be viewed at several locations in the park and at the Visitor Center.
In 1912 a major road was built through the Valley as part of the Arrowhead Trail that would connect Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. This is how the valley became known. A traveler who travels through the park at sunset said that the valley looks like it’s on fire.
In the 1920’s, the archaeological richness and beauty of the area was recognized and the 8,500 acres were given to the state of Nevada.
In 1933, the Civil Defense Corps built the first facilities and campgrounds in the park. In 1934, the Valley of Fire was officially opened as Nevada National Park.
It has been designated a National Natural Landmark since 1968.
Film & Advertising
The Valley of Fire is a popular location for many automobile advertisements and other commercial photographs.
- Viva Las Vegas with Elvis Presley filmed several shots in the park during the racing scenes for the film’s 1963 finale.
- The dreaded four starring Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, and Claudia Cardinale was filmed here in 1966.
- The Mars scene from Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, was filmed in its entirety here.
- The scenes from the planet Veridian III from Star Trek: Generations were filmed here. The silica dome is therefore particularly important for Star Trek fans.
In addition to the Red Rock Canyon, the Hoover Dam and of course Las Vegas are popular destinations.
Opening hours & entrance fees
The park is open from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Admission is $10.00 per vehicle.
Valley of Fire State Park is located in the Mojave Desert of southern Nevada about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. It is located in Lake Mead National Recreation Area at the confluence of the Virgin River and Lake Mead.
Address of the Valley of Fire attraction
Valley of Fire State Park
29450 Valley of Fire Road
Overton, Nevada 89040