White and pale orange lines swerve across spectacular rust-colored sandstone rock formations that tower over a jagged desert steppe. The rising sun, unhindered by a cloudless blue sky, conjures the many striking hues of the landscape to create a dynamic kaleidoscope of vivid color.
This magical place, known as Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park, looks as if it belongs on a distant, uninhabited planet. However, the park, recently named by CNN as the Nevada’s Natural Wonder, is located just one hour from the bright neon lights of Las Vegas.
Valley of Fire State Park is Nevada’s oldest state park, an appropriate distinction given the history of the area. The park’s many striking rock formations, including one that looks like a walking elephant, were formed by about 150 million years of erosion, faulting, and uplifting.
Photo by:Joseph Rossbach – Website: Click here
Some of these formations are adorned with 3,000-year-old petroglyphs left by Native American tribes who once settled the area. Today, the park is home to numerous plants and animals, included colorful desert marigolds that bloom in the spring, roadrunners, black tailed jackrabbits, and desert tortoises.
There are numerous ways you can see all the Valley of Fire State Park has to offer. Eleven hiking trails of varying difficulty offer spectacular views of the park, or you can drive through it on the Valley of Fire Highway. A visitor information center, which features exhibits outlining the park’s history, geology, and ecology, is a must visit once you arrive. Valley of Fire State Park is open year-round, making it the perfect place for an outdoor adventure.
Where to Stay:
Polo Towers is located in the heart of the famous Las Vegas Strip. Check out the bright lights from your private balcony, slide into the rooftop pool or work out at the state-of-the-art fitness center. Turn up the music on the surround-sound speakers in your suite, as you get ready to open the door to Vegas.