Valley of Fire – Nevada US
What happens in Vegas either it stays in Vegas or comes in Instagram or youtube :). If you are in Vegas, you must have heard about visiting Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. There is one more place to be visit – Valley of Fire, however, it is not famous among tourist but it is a worth day visit from Vegas.
Valley of Fire State Park is Nevada’s oldest and biggest state park with its founding dating back to 1935. Ancient trees and rock formations combine with 3,000-year-old petroglyphs left by early American Indians to create one of the most unique and beautiful areas in America.
The name, Valley of Fire, comes from massive red sandstone formations created 150 million years ago. The uplifting and faulting coupled with erosion to create the landscape we see today. Humans are believed to have used the area from 300 B.C.E. to 1150 C.E. for hunting and gathering but likely didn’t stay in the area long due to the lack of water.
How to reach
Drive from Las Vegas
Valley of Fire is located 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Las Vegas. It is an hour drive from Vegas. Even the drive to the Valley of Fire is stunning. Once you turn off the I-15 onto the Valley of Fire Highway, you’ll start seeing the iconic landscapes.
There are many different tours run from Vegas to Valley
Winters are mild with temperatures ranging from freezing to 75 degrees. Daily summer highs often exceed 100 degrees. Summer temperatures can vary significantly from day to night. Average annual rainfall is four inches, coming from light winter showers and summer thunderstorms. Winter would be the best time to visit Valley.
What to watch for
This short, flat 1.1-mile trail takes you through the sandy landscape to a set of colour-streaked rocks. This is a popular spot for wedding photography and for good reason! The sunset views at Rainbow Vista are absolutely incredible.
Atlatl Rock (Petroglyphs)
This is a quick off-road stop and well worth the hike up the staircase. Atlatl Rock flattens out near the top and was carved into by ancient Indians. You can see several drawings – some more clear (bighorn sheep, trees, hunters) and some not as clear (spirals and other obscure shapes). The meaning of the drawings is unknown, but it’s still interesting to see and the drawings are surprisingly well-maintained.
Elephant Rock is another quick stop on your Valley of Fire journey. This unique rock formation can be seen from the main road, or you can take a quick 1/2 mile walk which, inevitably, leads you to the road where you can view the rock from below.
Fire Canyon and Silica Dome
An ideal place to watch a sunrise (or sunset), this overlook is not one to be missed. The Silica Dome has a completely different vibe to it than the rest of the park – almost like something from a distant, foreign planet. Which could explain why this location was used in the filming of Star Trek: Generations.
Another quick photo stop, right off the road, Arch Rock is an interesting (if a little underwhelming) natural arch. If you’ve never seen a natural arch before, it’s pretty neat. But if you’ve been to Arches National Park the size of this arch will likely disappoint you. Still, it’s worth a quick stop and maybe you can even photoshop a tiny you beneath it to trick your friends.