The Valley of Fire takes your breath away!
Although Las Vegas is located in the middle of the Mojave desert (and deserts are pretty dry you know?) what nature has to offer is simply amazing. If you would like to spend a day away from all the lights, thousands of people, loud music and alcohol, the sound of slotmachines, cheering people at the tables, the Valley of Fire is the place to go.
During a March 2009 trip we decided to visit the Valley of Fire. We figured, taking the weather conditions into account, this would probably be the best time of year to visit. It can be blistering hot in the middle of the summer, during this week in March temperatures were in the low to mid 70’s. We had clear skies, perfect conditions for some sight seeing in the Mojave desert.
Here some details about the Valley of Fire we got from Wikipedia:
Valley of Fire State Park is the oldest state park in Nevada, USA. It covers an area of almost 42,000 acres and was dedicated in 1935. It derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park’s attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays.
Valley of Fire is located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, at an elevation between 2,000–2,600 feet. It abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area at the Virgin River confluence. It lies in a 4 by 6 mi basin.
Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. The rough floor and jagged walls of the park contain brilliant formations of eroded sandstone and sand dunes more than 150 million years old. Other important rock formations include limestones, shales, and conglomerates.
The park entry from Interstate 15 passes through the Moapa Indian Reservation. The park has a visitor center that should be visited by anyone planning any off-road activities. Prehistoric users of the Valley of Fire included the Ancient Pueblo Peoples, also known as the Anasazi, who were farmers from the nearby fertile Moapa Valley. Their approximate span of occupation has been dated from 300 BC to 1150 AD. Their visits probably involved hunting, food gathering, and religious ceremonies, although scarcity of water would have limited their stay. Fine examples of rock art left by these ancient peoples can be found at several sites within the park.