Valley of Fire State Park is the oldest state park in Nevada .It has an area of 34880 acres (14120 ha) and was dedicated in 1935. The red sandstones , formed from great shifting sand dunes in the age of the dinosaurs , gave the name of the state park . The red sandstones are the main attractions of the Valley of Fire and they look like they’re on fire when reflecting the sunlight .
The Valley of Fire is located in the northeast of Las Vegas , about 50 mi (80km) , it abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area at the Virgin River confluence. The complex uplifting and faulting of the region , followed by the rock erosion , have created the present landscape . The eroded sandstones and sand dunes are more than 150 million years old . Other important rock formations includeshales , limestones and conglomerates . The park entry from Interstate 15 passes through the Moapa Indian Reservation.
Prehistoric inhabitants of the Valley of Fire included the Anasazi, who were farmers from the nearby fertile Moapa Valley. Their approximate span of occupation has been dated from 300 B.C. to A.D. 1150. Their visits probably involved hunting, food gathering, and religious ceremonies. Fine examples of rock art left by these ancient peoples can be found at several sites within the park. Although petroglyphs are present throughout the entire park, Mouse’s Tank and Atlatl Rock are two areas in particular which have many petroglyphs while being relatively easily accessible.
The park also features three cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which were once used by overnight campers (now prohibited).
Valley of Fire State Park Climate
Typical low desert conditions exist. Winters are mild with temperatures ranging from freezing to 75 degrees F. Daily summer highs usually exceed 100 degrees, and may reach 120 degrees. Summer temperatures usually do not vary widely from day to night. Average annual rainfall is four inches, coming in the form of light winter showers and summer thunderstorms. Spring and fall are the preferred seasons for visiting the Valley of Fire.
Valley of Fire Precautions, Rules, Regulations
The desert is extremely fragile. The following rules are to protect the desert and ensure the safety of all.
Drive your vehicle only on approved routes of travel (see map), and park only in designated places along the roadside shoulders. Motor vehicles are not allowed on trails. Camp only in designated campground sites.
Fires permitted only in designated grills and fireplaces. All plants, animals, rock and mineral materials in the park are protected by state law. Do not remove or disturb any rocks, petrified wood, or other natural objects. Pets are welcome, but they must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet in length. They are not allowed in the Visitor Centers. All artifacts and other signs of Indian civilization are protected by state and federal law. Conserve the water provided for your convenience and please be careful with your litter. Use the trash containers provided.
[Article sources: www.desertusa.com, wikipedia.org]