Scenic USA - Nevada

Valley of Fire

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Valley of Fire Arch - Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Photos by Robert O'Connell

     The Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada's first park, was established in 1935 and has turned out to be one of Nevada's most popular state parks. Mouses Tank Trail - Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada Within a short drive from Las Vegas, the ever popular party city, the valley's glowing red sandstone formations easily inspired the park's name.
     Presenting a stark contrast from the famous show town just to the south, Valley of Fire is best known for it hiking trails and natural arch exploration. Park trails, vary from the well worn Petroglyph Canyon and Mouse's Tank to the lengthy Prospect Trail and Charlie's Spring Loop. Picnicking, RV and camping sites are also available in several areas.
     The park's early inhabitants, known as the basket makers and Anasazi, date back to 300 BC, leaving their artwork on several sites in the park. Petroglyphs, etched into a black coating on the rocks called desert varnish, are easily found on the cliff walls at Mouse's Tank and Atlatl (atí-lat-l) Rock.
     This desert scene shows off one of the many twisted, brightly colored natural Petroglyphs - Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada rock formations found throughout park. Visitors are also introduced to rock domes, petrified trees, pillars and limestone mountains. These fascinating red rock shapes brighten the landscape and keep the arch hunters busy throughout the park. Receiving on average four inches of rain a year, the parched desert climate still supports plants and animals. Among the creosote bush, burro bush and cactus expect to find a variety of birds such as the raven, house finch, sage sparrow, and roadrunner. During the heat of the day it would be rare to spot any of the resident coyotes, kit foxes, spotted skunks, black tailed jackrabbits and ground squirrels. With its prominent exhibits of geology, ecology and prehistory, this outstanding park offers something unique for all Las Vegas area visitors.

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