Valley of Fire State Park
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|Valley of Fire State Park|
|Nevada State Park|
Valley of Fire State Park
|- elevation||2,464 ft (751 m) |
|Area||34,880 acres (14,115 ha)|
|Management||Nevada Division of State Parks|
Valley of Fire State Park is the oldest state park in Nevada, USA and was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968. It covers an area of almost 42,000 acres (17,000 ha) and was dedicated in 1935. It derives its name from red sandstone formations, the Aztec Sandstone, which 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 (80 km) northeast of Las Vegas, at an elevation between 2,000–2,600 feet (610–790 m). It abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the east at the Virgin River confluence. It lies in a 4 by 6 mi (6.4 by 9.7 km) 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 is accessed by the Valley of Fire Highway through the Moapa Indian Reservation from Interstate 15 to the west and from Nevada State Route 169 on the east side of the park south of Overton. The park has a visitor center that should be visited by anyone planning any off-road activities.
The site is marked as Nevada Historical Marker #150.
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 (petroglyphs) left by these ancient peoples can be found at several sites within the park.
Winters are mild with temperatures ranging from 32 °F (0 °C) to 75 °F (24 °C). Daily summer highs usually exceed 100 °F (38 °C) and may reach 120 °F (49 °C). Summer temperatures can vary widely from day to night. Light winter showers and summer thunderstorms bring an average annual rainfall of 4 inches (100 mm).
Spring and fall are the preferred seasons for visiting the Valley of Fire.
Valley of Fire Road
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).
The park is a popular getaway for locals and visitors alike, providing facilities for picnicking, camping, and hiking.
Valley of Fire is a popular location for shooting automobile commercials and other commercial photography. It has provided a setting for the following films and television shows:
- "Viva Las Vegas" starring Elvis Presley (1963 film) had multiple shots filmed in the park during the racing scenes for the movie finale.
- The Professionals with Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, and Claudia Cardinale was filmed in 1966. Valley of Fire was one of three locations used in the film. All that remains of the set is a portion of a rock wall of a hacienda.
- The outside Mars scenes from Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, were almost totally shot in Valley of Fire.
- The scenes from planet Veridian III from Star Trek: Generations were filmed here. The Silica Dome is particularly highlighted for Star Trek fans as the site of iconic starship captain James T. Kirk's death and burial.
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
- Little Finland and Gold Butte Backcountry Byway
- Moapa River Indian Reservation
- "Valley of Fire State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 1980-12-12. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
- "Frequently Asked Questions for the Valley of Fire State Park" (PDF). Nevada Division of State Parks. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
- Nevada Atlas & Gazeteer, DeLorme, 8th ed., 2012, pp. 67 and 71, ISBN 0-89933-334-6
- "Nevada's Scenic Byways". Nevada Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
- Carlo Gaberscek, Kenny Stier (2014). In Search of Western Movie Sites. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-1312625020.
- "Scene In Nevada: Total Recall". Nevada Film Office. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
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- Valley of Fire State Park Nevada State Parks