Image courtesy of Wasif Malik
Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park, dedicated in 1935. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs. Popular activities include camping, hiking, picnicking and photography. The park offers a full-scale visitor center with extensive interpretive displays. Several group use areas are also available. The park is open all year. Valley of Fire State Park is six miles from Lake Mead and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75. CONTACT the park at 702-397-2088 for more information or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for Questions and Answers about the park.
The Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape.
Other important rock formations include limestones, shales, and conglomerates. Prehistoric users of the Valley of Fire included the Basket Maker people and later the Anasazi Pueblo farmers from the nearby fertile Moapa Valley.
The span of approximate occupation has been dated from 300 B.C.E. to 1150 C.E. Their visits probably involved hunting, food gathering, and religious ceremonies, although scarcity of water would have limited the length of their stay. Fine examples of rock art left by these ancient peoples can be found at several sites within the park.
Winters are mild with temperatures ranging from freezing to 75 degrees. Daily summer highs usually exceed 100 degrees F and may reach 120 degrees. Summer temperatures can vary widely from day to night. Average annual rainfall is four inches, coming in the form of light winter showers and summer thunderstorms. Spring and fall are the preferred seasons for visiting the Valley of Fire.
PLANTS AND ANIMALS
The area plant community is dominated by widely spaced creosote bush, burro bush, and brittlebush. Several cactus species, including beaver tail and cholla, are also common. The springtime bloom of such plants as the desert marigold, indigo bush, and desert mallow are often spectacular along park roads.
Resident birds include the raven, house finch, sage sparrow, and roadrunner. Many migrant birds also pass through the park. Most desert animals are nocturnal and not frequently seen by the passing motorist. Many species of lizards and snakes are common in the park, as well as the coyote, kit fox, spotted skunk, black tailed jackrabbit, and antelope ground squirrel.
The desert tortoise is a rare species and is protected by state law. If you are lucky enough to come across one please leave this likeable and harmless creature to live its life in peace in its own environment.
- Visitor Information: The visitor center provides exhibits on the geology, ecology, prehistory, and history of the park and the nearby region. It is strongly recommended that each visitor make this an early stop after entering the park. Postcards, books, and souvenirs are on sale for your convenience. The visitor center is open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30. The rest of the park does not close.
- Entrance Fee: An entrance fee is charged per vehicle upon entering the park. This fee is collected at the fee booth or at self-pay stations.
- Camping: Additional fees are charged for the use of camping areas and is payable at the campgrounds. All campsites are first-come, first-serve. There are two campgrounds with a combined total of 72 units. Campsites are equipped with shaded tables, grills, water, and restrooms. A dump station and showers are available. A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced.
- RV Camping: RV sites with power and water hookups are now available. A $10 surcharge is added to the regular camping fee for the use of these sites.
- Picnicking: Shaded areas with restrooms are located at Atlatl Rock, Seven Sisters, the Cabins, near Mouse’s Tank trailhead, and White Domes.
- Group Area: There are three group areas, each accommodating up to 45 people, though parking is limited. They are available for overnight camping and picnicking by reservation only. Call the park for reservations: (702) 397-2088.
- Hiking: Many intriguing hikes are available to visitors. Inquire at the visitor center for suggestions on day hikes of varying length and terrain.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
The desert is extremely fragile. Thoughtless visitors have abused the area in the past and left scars. It will take centuries for nature to restore this desert area to its original condition. To protect the desert and ensure the safety of others, please observe the following rules:
- Drive only on approved routes of travel (see map), and park only in designated places along the roadside shoulders. Motor vehicles are not allowed on trails.
- Camp only in designated campground sites.
- Fires are permitted only in designated grills and fireplaces.
- All plants, animals, artifacts, rocks and minerals are protected by state law. Please do not remove or disturb them.
- Pets are welcome, but they must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet in length. They are not allowed in the visitor center.
- All artifacts and other signs of early civilization and recent history are protected by state and federal law.
- Please conserve the water.
- Use the trash containers provided.
- The park is open from sunrise to sunset unless camping in campgrounds or group camping area. After sunset, activity is limited to those areas.
- Rock climbing is limited to specific areas in the park. Inquire at the visitor center.
We will be making an event for you to RSVP. Hope to see everyone there.