Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire is located in the Mojave Desert approximately 58 miles northeast of the Las Vegas Strip. Valley of Fire is the oldest Nevada State Park and was dedicated in 1935. Valley of Fire State Park covers an area of approximately 35,000 acres. Valley of Fire was named for the magnificent red sandstone formations that were formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs more than 150 million years ago (Mesozoic Era). These brilliant sandstone formations can appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays. Other important rock formations include limestone, shale, and conglomerates.
Valley of Fire is marked as Nevada Historical Marker #150 (Nevada’s First State Park). Valley of Fire Road is the main road through the park. The 10.5-mile (16.9 km) road connects the east and west entrances of the park and was designated as a Nevada Scenic Byway in 1995.
Prehistoric people of Valley of Fire included the Anasazi, who were farmers from the nearby fertile Moapa Valley. Their visits to Valley of Fire probably involved hunting, food gathering, and religious ceremonies. There are fine examples of rock art (petroglyphs) at several locations throughout Valley of Fire.
Valley of Fire is a very popular location to film car commercials and other commercial photography. Here are some of the projects that have been filmed at Valley of Fire:
The Professionals with Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, and Claudia Cardinale was filmed in 1966. Part of the movie set is still present at White Domes.
The 1984-1987 CBS TV show Airwolf used the Valley of Fire, named The Valley of the Gods in the show, as the secret hiding place of the stolen super-helicopter Airwolf.
Cherry 2000 uses the Beehives group camping area as the Sky Ranch compound of the lead antagonist.
The outside Mars scenes from Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, were almost totally shot in Valley of Fire.
Star Trek Generations was filmed in Valley of Fire, and it was here that Captain Kirk fell to his death.
Criss Angel filmed an extreme stunt on his show: Criss Angel Mindfreak here.
Domino. A scene in the film where the protagonists crash their RV in the Valley of Fire.
The 2007 movie Transformers filmed a scene where the Autobots are driving along the valley with other military vehicles during sunset.
In 2015, Bear Grylls filmed a celebrity episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls with actress Michelle Rodriguez in Valley of Fire.
Plants and Flowers
Valley of Fire is dominated by creosote bush, burro bush, and brittlebush. Cactus species such as beaver tail and cholla are also abundant. The springtime blooms with desert marigold, indigo bush, and desert mallow. This makes the park look especially spectacular in the spring.
Valley of Fire is teeming with wildlife, but most of the animals that reside in Valley of Fire are nocturnal. Thee are many species of lizards and snakes, as well as coyote, bobcat, kit fox, skunk, jackrabbit, and antelope ground squirrel. It is always a nice treat to see desert big horn sheep and you are likely to see sheep in the middle of the day. The desert tortoise is a rare species and is protected by state law.
Winters are mild with temperatures ranging from freezing to 75 degrees. Daily summer highs often exceed 100 degrees. Summer temperatures can vary significantly from day to night. Average annual rainfall is four inches, coming from light winter showers and summer thunderstorms.