[Visual Stimuli.] Valley Of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire is located near the Hoover Dam in Nevada, about 55 miles east of Las Vegas. I went there in November of 1995 and again in May of 2003. The rocks don't change much in that short a period of time.

The Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. The valley was inhabited by prehistoric people who left petroglyphs (rock art) behind.

The park has a road running through it, and most of the attractions can be seen from it. There are several other roads that go to different areas, and some hiking trails. I had no trouble seeing the park in one day. Late afternoon to sunset gives the most spectacular views because of the way the rocks look in the sunlight and shadows.

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Copyright 1995,2003, G. Edward Johnson

Elephant Rock. Probably the best known formation in the park, this rock looks like... an elephant!

The Cabins. These stone cabins were built with native sandstone by the CCC in the 1930's as a shelter for passing travellers.

Arch Rock. There are several natural arches in the park, this one is the largest. It is right near the road. The area under the arch is 8 to 10 feet tall.

Atlatl Rock. Ancient Indian petroglyphs, including drawings of an atlatl ("at-lat-l"). What kind of animal had footprints like this?

Eroding Rocks. Throughout the park, the rocks are eroded in spectacular patterns.

Rocky Desert. The desert floor has scattered bushes and large colorful rocks rise out from it.


The temperature in the summer usually exceeds 100 degrees, with winter temperatures ranging from freezing to 75 degrees. Spring and Fall are the prefered seasons for visiting. I was there in late November and was comfortable wearing shorts. There are areas for picnicking, hiking and camping (with reservations). For more information contact Valley of Fire State park, P.O. Box 515, Overton, Nevada 89040. (702) 397-2088. Most of the information contained herein comes from the handout you get when you come to the park (O)-2029.

Other Valley of Fire resources:

Copyright 1995-2004, G. Edward Johnson. All rights reserved.