Valley of Fire State Park | Exploring Nevada

Getting off the Las Vegas strip for most visitors is unheard of, but there is more to this fair city than the bright lights, gambling, and buffets. We have state parks, camping, mountains, forests, scenic drives, and desert hikes. There is a lot of natural beauty in Nevada, and one favorite for locals is the Valley of Fire, which is only an hour drive from Las Vegas.

Valley of Fire

I have visited the Valley of Fire many times since living here in Las Vegas. I have come here with both local friends, and ones who were visiting. This state park is a great one to visit if you are road tripping from Nevada into Utah. I had done that once with friends, and we had hit Valley of Fire before driving on to Bryce Canyon in Utah. It made for a great road trip starter.

Greetings from the Valley of Fire!

The Valley of Fire is considered Nevada’s first state park, and recognized for its magnificent scenic, archeological and geological features. It was dedicated prematurely in 1934, although there were already four state parks established. For 85 years, Valley of Fire has been one of Nevada’s great treasures for hiking, exploring, and an outstanding day trip.

World-renowned for its 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops nestled in gray and tan limestone, Valley of Fire State Park contains ancient, petrified trees and petroglyphs dating back more than 2,000 years. A Visitor Center provides exhibits on the geology, ecology, prehistory and history of the park and nearby region. The park also hosts an Annual Atlatl Competition in which participants test their skills with replicas of ancient spears. Open year round, the park has numerous campsites equipped with shaded tables, grills and water, as well as many intriguing trails to tempt hikers.

– Nevada State Parks Website

The Beehives

The Beehives located inside the Valley of Fire are sandstone formations that demonstrate the unique design that can be created by nature. It also is an outstanding representation of geologic cross bedding, which are the grooved lines going in different directions.

The layers or beds represent different layers of silt that are deposited at different times. The beds indicate the angle of the wind or water was moving at the time the material was deposited. The process of cross bedding is very common in sand dunes, river sediments, and beach deposits.

— Atlatl Rock and Petroglyphs —

Atlatl Rock is a giant red rock formation with petroglyphs made by ancient tribes. An atlatl was a type of hunting tool or weapon, which was a throwing stick or a dart thrower. The petroglyphs are high up on the rock, and the only way to view them is to walk up a series of metal stairs. It is worth the climb to see these ancient drawings.

Climb the stairs up along Atlatl Rock for great views of the petroglyphs, made by ancient tribes.

— Petrified Wood —

There are several locations of Petrified Logs within the Valley of Fire. These logs are millions of years old, and most likely came from a forest several miles from where they are now. Flood waters carried these fallen logs to this area, where they were buried for underneath thousands of feet of deposits, and slowly turned to stone.

All of the petrified logs are enclosed by fencing to protect them from vandalization are theft. Although the fencing was also a good way for us to find them from the parking lot.

— Visitor Center —

The Vistor Center is a good place to visit while at the Valley of Fire. Here you will find information, books, souvenirs, and exhibits on Valley of Fire and the surrounding area.  The exhibits include the geology, ecology, prehistory, and history of Valley of Fire. 

Valley of Fire Visitor Center Hours: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM daily.

Facilities at the Visitor Center: Wedding Ceremony Site, Restrooms, Parking, Information, First Aid, Drinking Water, Public Telephone, and Ranger Station.

For more park information and entrance fees, please visit Valley of Fire State Park.

— Photo Journal of Valley of Fire State Park —

Atlatl Rock

Guided Hike

For more park information and entrance fees, please visit Valley of Fire State Park.


The world is yours to explore …

Yours Truly at the Valley of Fire

🌎 Thank you for visiting my website and NEVER STOP EXPLORING!

📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre

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