Fall is the best time of year in the Las Vegas Valley – the summer heat is over and there is crispness in the air. Take the family on a day trip to the Valley of Fire. It’s a short 58 mile drive northeast of central Las Vegas.
Valley of Fire is located in the Mojave Desert and is the oldest Nevada State Park dedicated in 1935. Valley of Fire State Park covers an area of approximately 35,000 acres. Valley of Fire was named for the magnificent red sandstone formations that were formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs more than 150 million years ago (Mesozoic Era). These brilliant sandstone formations can appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays. Other important rock formations include limestone, shale, and conglomerates.
Valley of Fire is marked as Nevada Historical Marker #150 (Nevada’s First State Park). Valley of Fire Road is the main road through the park. The 10.5 mile road connects the east and west entrances of the park and was designated as a Nevada Scenic Byway in 1995.
Some of the prehistoric people of Valley of Fire included the Anasazi – they were farmers from the nearby fertile Moapa Valley. Their visits to Valley of Fire probably involved hunting, food gathering, and religious ceremonies. There are fine examples of rock art (petroglyphs) at several locations throughout Valley of Fire.
Areas to look for at the Valley of Fire include Arch Rock, formed over many millennia to the natural arch you see today. No climbing is allowed on this rock as it is very fragile. Atlatl Rock named for a device that shoots spears. The ancient Indians used these weapons and they are depicted in the petroglyphs (rock carvings).
The Beehives are sandstone formations that not only demonstrate the unique design that can be created by nature, but is an excellent representation of geologic cross bedding. The Petrified Logs consist of wood that has laid outside long enough to become a fossil. The logs are several colorful tree trunks lying close to the road, safely fenced off for all to enjoy. Balanced Rock is located near the visitor center is another one of the famous Valley of Fire formations.
Mouse’s Tank is a natural balanced-rock basin in the rock where water collects after each rainfall. A half-mile round trip trail leads to Mouse’s Tank from the trailhead parking area. There are excellent examples of prehistoric petroglyphs on the trail. Mouse’s Tank is named for a Southern Paiute Indian renegade (“Little Mouse”) who used Valley of Fire as a hideout in the 1890’s after he was accused of killing two prospectors and other crimes in the area. Rainbow Vista is a viewpoint in Valley of Fire State Park, where the road reaches the top of a low ridge revealing a vast area of multicolored rocks stretching for many miles northwards, rather different than the dark red cliffs found further south.
The White Domes are sandstone formations with brilliant contrasting colors and a one-mile hike. The White Domes Trail is a moderate loop that combines sweeping desert vistas, a slot canyon, colors galore, windows, caves and a historic movie site. Also look at the Seven Sisters is a group of 7 tall, red, eroded boulders surround by the sandy desert. You also must see Elephant Rock is a wonderful example of an arch in the shape of an elephant and its right next to the road.
Other sites to see are the Clark Memorial named for John J. Clark. This is where his body was found on June 30, 1915. You should also try to visit Fire Canyon/Silica Dome.
Don’t miss the Visitor’s Center -Information, books, souvenirs, and exhibits on Valley of Fire and the surrounding area. The exhibits include geology, ecology, prehistory, and history of Valley of Fire. Valley of Fire Visitor Center Hours: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM daily.
Heck, it’s even an amazing place to get married! I have a wedding planner friend who has planned several weddings out there! Go check it out this weekend! Tell them Jeff sent ya! (just kidding – they don’t know me by name… yet)
Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com
Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff