Fodor's Expert Review Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire Native American Site Fodor's Choice

Valley of Fire's jumbled rock formations are remnants of hardened sand dunes more than 150 million years old. You find petrified logs and the park's most photographed feature—Elephant Rock—just steps off the main road. Mysterious petroglyphs (carvings etched into the rocks) and pictographs (pictures drawn or painted on the rock's surface) are believed to be the work of the Basketmaker and ancestral Puebloan people who lived along the nearby Muddy River between 300 BC and AD 1150. The easy, essential trail is Mouse's Tank, named for an outlaw who hid out here and managed to find water; so will you in cooler months (but not for drinking). It's a short walk, shaded by steep canyon walls. Sci-fi fans also might recognize Fire Canyon as the alien planet in Starship Troopers and several other movies.

The Valley of Fire Visitor Center was remodeled in 2011 and has displays on the park's history, ecology, archaeology, and recreation, as well as slide shows and films, an art... READ MORE

Valley of Fire's jumbled rock formations are remnants of hardened sand dunes more than 150 million years old. You find petrified logs and the park's most photographed feature—Elephant Rock—just steps off the main road. Mysterious petroglyphs (carvings etched into the rocks) and pictographs (pictures drawn or painted on the rock's surface) are believed to be the work of the Basketmaker and ancestral Puebloan people who lived along the nearby Muddy River between 300 BC and AD 1150. The easy, essential trail is Mouse's Tank, named for an outlaw who hid out here and managed to find water; so will you in cooler months (but not for drinking). It's a short walk, shaded by steep canyon walls. Sci-fi fans also might recognize Fire Canyon as the alien planet in Starship Troopers and several other movies.

The Valley of Fire Visitor Center was remodeled in 2011 and has displays on the park's history, ecology, archaeology, and recreation, as well as slide shows and films, an art gallery, and information about the two campgrounds (73 campsites, 20 of them with power and water for RVs) within the park. Campsites at Atlatl Rock and Arch Rock Campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The park is open year-round; the best times to visit, especially during the heat of summer, are sunrise and sunset, when the light is truly spectacular.

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Native American Site Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge Fodor's Choice Family

Quick Facts

29450 Valley of Fire Rd.
Overton, Nevada  89040, USA

702-397–2088

www.parks.nv.gov or valley-of-fire.com

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: $10 per vehicle ($2 discount for Nevada residents) or $20 per night plus $10 per vehicle for a campsite with hookups

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