A sprawling area of 40,000 acres bathed in bright red Aztec sandstone, is from where Nevada’s oldest and biggest state park gets its name – ‘Valley of Fire’. An hour away, east of Las Vegas, highway I-15 snatches you away from the commotion and chaos of the city glitter and serves to be one of the most incredible drives into the state park.
After heading to a casino in Las Vegas, or maybe even trying out online casino with Mohegan, you would want to head off here the first thing!
Founded way back in 1935, this fiery red landscape has been a canvas for ancient trees, rock formations, petroglyphs, eroded sandstone and sand dunes. The red sandstone which was formed about 150 million years ago from the process of erosion and shifting sand dunes, stands as the centre of attraction as it gives a sense of being set on fire once kissed by the sun’s rays.
But the winner is the more than 3000-year-old Petroglyphs, which were created and left behind by early inhabitant American Indians by carving the surface of the red stones to engrave onto the lighter sandstone beneath. You can find across the park but the three areas in particular where a number of petroglyphs are easily sighted are Petroglyph Canyon, Atlatl Rock and Mouse’s tank.
Ecologically speaking the flora and fauna is dominated by the usual suspects you find in the desert such as bush, burro bush, brittlebush and various cacti species like beaver tail and cholla. but the most captivating and beautiful outcome of their flora is in spring when the desert marigold, indigo bush, and desert mallow are in their full glory.
Wildlife can be experienced during the day and by nightfall as well since most species are of the nocturnal kind. Daytime sightings are limited to coyote, fox, antelopes or ground squirrels. The bighorn desert sheep may show himself off majestically which is always a treat. The desert tortoise is considered a rare sighting in which a lucky few may experience.
The Anasazis were the prehistoric farmer habitats of the Moapa Valley who were found to be in existence from 300 BC to 1150 AD. Their activities are believed to have involved hunting, food gathering and certain ceremonies of a cult or religion, but due to the lack of water bodies have had to migrate away from the place.
The state of Nevada in 1931 acquired over 8000 acres of federal land to work on, including the building of camping grounds, trails, stone visitor cabins and roads post which the park opened in 1934.
Imagine camping amidst the blazing red yet tranquil atmosphere. Yes! This park is a satisfaction to the temptation of campers and hikers. All year round the park hosts them at well-done campsites with enough food, water, and basic amenities.
There is a Visitor Centre which is a point of contact for all information you want.
Have it whichever way you choose, whether you are camping, hiking or just taking a drive through the park, it will have you coming back for more and you will not cease reaching for your camera at every point in your journey.