Valley of Fire State Park is located just south of Overton, Nevada and spans over 46,000 acres. The park acquired its name from its abundance of pink, orange and red rocks. Rich Aztec sandstone and limestone morph into fantastic, other worldly shapes. Ancient Aztec and Pueblo petroglyphs carved deep into the rock offer a glimpse into the valley’s incredible history.
There are many significant points highlighted in the park. Strong winds and fierce rains have shaped the sandstone into an arch dubbed Arch Rock. Unique sandstone formations called Beehives demonstrate cross bedding. Cross bedding is the term for grooved lines stretching in many different directions.
Atlatl Rock features an elaborate petroglyph display. Images include a cross, sheep, hands, and concentric circles. An atlatl is a short chord wrapped around a spear that rotates the weapon in the air. The throwing devices are incorporated among the rock art. A tall metal ladder stretches close to the giant rock. Nearby Atlatl Campground houses 43 primitive campsites.
Elephant Rock is a beautiful arch that lives up to its name. Shaped like the long-trunked mammal, visitors can spot the rock from a vehicle as it is close to the road. A parking lot nearby provides opportunity for a quick walk and brilliant photographs.
The Seven Sisters is a group of seven towering boulders. Nearby the White Domes are a group of sandstone formations deeply contrasted against the fiery red rocks. An easy one mile hike winds through the domes. Rainbow Vista is another one mile hike that ends with a magnificent panoramic view of the park.
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Pink Canyon is a beautiful, lighter colored area. The rocks appear to be painted with delicate waves. It is a short canyon and there is little parking. Fire Canyon and Silica Dome is an area of sandstone formations made of pure silica deposits.
Mouse’s Tank is an easy, 0.75 mile hike that features detailed petroglyph displays around every turn. Imagery includes bighorn sheep, lines of human figures, snakes, and deer. Many visitors like to park on the side of Mouse Tank Road and snap the iconic picture of the road lined with incredible rocks.
None of the hikes in the park are long or strenuous. The wide variety of unique trails offers plenty of options for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. It is best to avoid the park in the summertime when temperatures can top 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Dogs are allowed on a six foot lead. Be sure to bring plenty of water and take breaks as needed.
Valley of Fire is an amazing park that could easily entertain visitors for a whole day. Take your time and explore all of the magical areas it has to offer. Valley of Fire State Park is guaranteed to be a memorable stop in the Nevada Desert.
Written by: Lauren Kehoe