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Valley of Fire State Park, about 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas, is spectacular. Largest and oldest of the state's parks, it's a fantasy of pinnacles, domes and spires in colors ranging from scarlet and deep purple to orange and the palest shades of pink. A product of the Jurassic period, it has been inhabited by humans on and off for more than 5,000 years. Groups included the nomadic members of the Fremont culture, the Anasazi, the Yuma and more recently, the Paiutes. Each of these peoples left their marks — petroglyphs and pictographs — painted or incised on the rocks. The best places to see the rocks are Atlatl Rock and Petroglyph ...

Valley of Fire State Park, about 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas, is spectacular. Largest and oldest of the state's parks, it's a fantasy of pinnacles, domes and spires in colors ranging from scarlet and deep purple to orange and the palest shades of pink. A product of the Jurassic period, it has been inhabited by humans on and off for more than 5,000 years. Groups included the nomadic members of the Fremont culture, the Anasazi, the Yuma and more recently, the Paiutes. Each of these peoples left their marks — petroglyphs and pictographs — painted or incised on the rocks. The best places to see the rocks are Atlatl Rock and Petroglyph Canyon. Self-guided hiking trails (it isn't an especially good park for hikers) start at one mile in length. In lieu of a hike, step outside your vehicle and spend some time looking at the desert wildlife in the area around you. To complement your Valley of Fire visit, take a trip to the Lost City Museum at Overton, 12 miles away.

Connie Emerson
About the Expert

Connie Emerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Cheapskate's Guide to Branson, Missouri and Eyewitness Top Ten Travel Guide – Las Vegas.

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Connie Emerson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. It derives its name from red sandstone formations. These features often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays.
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time of year except during late summer and early fall when temperatures can soar to more than 115 degrees