Just six miles from Lake Mead and 55 miles NE of Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest and biggest state park. As with any “go to” natural destination, your visit can be more enjoyable by having a fundamental understanding of the location’s history and highlights. Here are a handful of facts you probably didn’t know about the park:
There’s lots of movies & shows featuring this setting.
For decades, the Valley of Fire has been the selected setting for many movies, creative projects, and TV shows, including:
- movie: The Professionals
- movie: Total Recall
- movie: Star Trek Generations
- movie: Transformers
- TV show: Airwolf
- TV special: Criss Angel Mindfreak
- video game: Need for Speed: The Run
- music video: Ride by Lana Del Rey
There’s lots of flora.
Although at first glance it may seem desolate and void of any plants, the Valley of Fire is home to lots of life! A discerning eye will note many plants, including: the Beavertail cactus, the creosote bush, the burro bush, the brittlebush, and the cholla cactus, among others. In the spring, you’ll see lots of flora right along the park roads, including: the desert mallow, the desert marigold, and the indigo bush. All the flowers and plants in the park are steadfastly protected by Nevada state law and may not be removed or tampered with in any way.
There’s lots of fauna.
Wildlife abounds in the Valley of Fire. While many migrating birds pass through the area in route to their seasonal destinations, the Valley of Fire is home to many birds, including the raven, the house finch, the sage sparrow, and the beloved southwestern roadrunner. With temperatures often soaring off the charts in the hotter months, it’s no surprise most of the desert critters at the park are nocturnal. What you may not be aware of, however, is the diversity of wildlife found here, including: lizards, snakes, coyote, the kit fox, the spotted skunk, the black-tailed jackrabbit, and the antelope ground squirrel. Even more of a wondrous (and rare) creature to behold is the desert tortoise. Like the vegetation at the Valley of Fire, all animals, artifacts, petrified wood, minerals, and rocks are protected by law.
There were lots of visitors in days gone by.
Long before the wildlife and plant life became protected at this park, lots of people made this their “go to” destination for hunting, food gathering, creating art, and performing religious ceremonies. From the prehistoric Basket Maker people to the Anasazi Pueblo farmers, the Valley of Fire was occupied between 300 B.C.E. to 1150 C.E. There are several designated sites within the park today where you can peruse the amazing rock art created by these ancient peoples.
There are lots of visitors today.
From groups of school children, special interest organizations, campers, hikers, graduate students studying geology and ecology, to area residents and tourists, the Valley of Fire is a popular destination for both its breathtaking beauty and rich history. The park is open 24/7 and offers:
- a full-scale visitor center (open daily until 4:30 PM) with lots of interpretative and interesting displays
- 72 designated spaces throughout two areas for camping that include showers, tables, water, restrooms, and grills
- 3 large group areas for meetings, celebrations, and picnics, and
- hiking trails
While some visitors prefer to arrive via their own private vehicle, on a motorcycle, via a bicycle, or with a group on a bus, others want to make their visit truly memorable and opt to fly over the park via a helicopter tour ~ creating a Valley of Fire experience that is incomparable! Have you ever been the to the Valley of Fire?