Valley of Fire State Park is the largest and oldest state run park in Nevada. Its size is almost 35,000 acres of various terrains. The park is located near Lake Mead, a famous recreational area in Nevada. It is also about fifty miles from Las Vegas. However, in terms of style Valley of Fire couldn’t be further from Las Vegas. This park is famous for its rock formations, some of which will have you scratching your head at how they got that way. With limited water, this isn’t an ideal park for fishing or swimming. However, its size and unique terrain are sure to appeal to outdoorsmen and tourists alike.
Valley of Fire State Park offers a large system of trails for hiking. There are more than a dozen trails of various difficulty levels. Trails are as short as a quarter mile and as long as seven miles. Most trails are easy for anyone to navigate, but others require considerable physical energy. Some trails go up very hilly areas while others remain on the flat terrain. Regardless of the trail you choose, you will be treated to stunning displays of nature. Among the most famous formations at Valley of Fire State Park are Elephant Rock, Arch Rock, and Rainbow Vista. Rainbow Vista can easily be viewed and the variant colors of the sandstone give the illusion of a rainbow. There are dozens of other great rock formations in the park. In addition, there are things you can see throughout including petrified rocks and petroglyphs. Petroglyphs may be the most interesting aspect of the park. A petroglyph is a piece of rock art from ancient Native American culture. There are many stunning images on rocks throughout the park. Areas you don’t want to miss out on are Mouse’s Tank and Atlatl Rock. Make sure you have a camera ready so you can take pictures of these great images. The visitor center located at the park will provide you with information about where everything is located as well as information on each trail. It is a good idea to visit here before attempting to go out on your own if you have never been there.
You could probably spend days or weeks exploring all of the great formations at Valley of Fire State Park. If you want to spend extra time there, you can utilize one of many campsites. Campsites are given on a first come first saved basis and require a fee to use them. They include grilling and picnic areas, bathrooms, showers, and waste disposal areas. RVs are also permitted at several sites around the park. These also require a fee but provide you with electricity and running water. If you don’t want to camp but just want to enjoy a picnic, there are plenty of areas for that also. Picnic areas are shaded and include use of grills, tables, and nearby bathrooms. They are situated near areas that are surrounded by some great formations that provide some ambience while you enjoy your food. Overnight and picnic areas for large groups can be reserved if space is available.
This park is all about exploring. Aside from the natural beauty that Valley of Fire State Park offers, you can also get a great glimpse of history. There is a lot to learn about the Native American tribes that inhabited these parts. For more modern history, you can check out parts of the park where many movies were filmed. Parts of Total Recall, Transformers, and Star Trek Generations were filmed here among other movies and television shows. This park has so much to offer that one visit won’t suffice. It can be both interesting and physically grueling if you want it to be.
Valley of Fire Park does charge modest entrance fees for certain areas. However, given the size and variety of things to see and do the fee is well worth it. Make sure you stop by the visitor center to learn about all of what you should see and get a map of the park. The center also contains exhibits about the history and geology of the park that you don’t want to miss. If you have any plans to spend the night in the park make sure you call ahead to ensure space.