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Valley of Fire State Park

35,000 acres of red sandstone formations

Valley of Fire Highway
road through the Valley of Fire

The Valley of Fire is so named because the red sandstone formations that dominate the region can appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays. The sandstone itself was laid down about 150 million years ago, and subsequent uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, created the present landscape. Other important rock formations include limestone, shale, and conglomerates.

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. Evidence of their presence can be found at many locations throughout the park, in the form of petroglyphs. Petrified trees can also be found within the park's confines.

Creosote bush, burro bush, and brittlebush are the dominant plants in the Valley of Fire, but cactus species such as beaver tail and cholla are also abundant. Spring rains add desert marigold, indigo bush, and desert mallow to the landsscape. The region is home to many species of lizards and snakes, as well as coyote, bobcat, kit fox, skunk, jackrabbit, antelope ground squirrel, desert big horn sheep, and the rare desert tortoise.

Established in 1935, Valley of Fire was Nevada's first state park.

Valley of Fire State Park is located about 60 miles northeast of Las Vegas, via Interstate 15. The primary entrance is located just east of the Crystal exit, via Valley of Fire Highway, the only road through the park. The park is also accessible from the north, via State Highway 169, which runs through Overton, the nearest incorporated area.

The American Southwest
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Nevada State Parks

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The Robinson Library >> Nevada

This page was last updated on June 20, 2018.