Valley of Fire
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.
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.