The Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed by petrifaction of ancient sand dunes during the Jurassic era, 160 million years ago. The exposed rock responsible for the dramatic colors and formations is Aztec sandstone. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape.
Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park, dedicated in 1935. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs.
We hiked the White Domes and Fire Wave trails; both were simply breathtaking. Valley of Fire is up there among my favorite State/National Parks, not very far behind Arches NP and Bryce NP.
I simply cannot imagine how hot this place must be in the summer. It is only mid-March and some of us were seriously overheating. On the Fire Wave hike, JF and our friend helped an elderly man down a slippery sandstone path. He was hiking in this rough terrain by himself with his cane and no water, and we left him a bit concerned. On our way back, we stopped at the Visitor Center and JF let the rangers know about him. They took notes and said they would be there in about 30 minutes. I am always amazed at how sensitive JF is to others… He also made the girls and I drink a full bottle of water before heading back on the road to make sure we would not be dehydrated.
As we drove back to Vegas (there is no cell connexion in the Valley of Fire campground, by the way…), I put my sandy feet up on the dash of the Westy, rolled down the window so the wind would cool me down, and let all that beauty sink into my soul. What an amazing day we had!