Incredible Rocky Rainbow Vista Carved into the Valley of Fire [38 PICS]

March 28th, 2014 Permalink

Back when the dinosaurs walked the Earth, the Valley of Fire was forming. Time and the elements carved the fossilized sand into greats mazes of canyons, arches, ridges, domes, and valleys. Today, the Valley of Fire is a National Natural Landmark and the oldest state park in Nevada. This amazing and colorful wilderness in the Mojave Desert is only about an hour away from the bright city lights of Las Vegas; it comes highly recommended to experience. Sunlight striking the bright red rocks make the valley look like it’s on fire, but there are also layers of multicolored rocks in a “rainbow” of colors that stretch for many miles. Rainbow Vista is a breathtaking site to behold in the Valley of Fire. [38 Photos]

Amazing Rainbow Vista, rainbow of colored rocks at Valley of Fire during sunset

Amazing Rainbow Vista, rainbow of colored rocks at Valley of Fire during sunset. The Nevada State Park sign states, “Rainbow Vista: You are looking across 150 million years of time. The great maze of canyons, domes, towers, ridges and valleys before you are carved from sand deposited during the time when dinosaurs walked the earth. This is wild, virtually untouched wilderness. It is an ‘Adventure in Color’ for you to experience by car and on foot.” Photo #1 by LDELD

Crazy Hill Sunrise, Valley of Fire State Park

Sunrise over a palette of colors in the Valley of Fire. These rock formations are so crazy-colored that the hill is best known as ‘Crazy Hill’.” Photo #2 by James Marvin Phelps



Fire Wave in the Autumn sunlight, Valley of Fire State Park

Fire Wave can be found after about a half hour hike through the Mojave Desert. Like the vast majority of red sandstone formations in the park, the colorful Fire Wave started forming from shifting sand dunes about 150 million years ago. Photo #3 by James Marvin Phelps

Rainbow rock formation at the Valley of Fire

Rainbow Vista is just one part of Nevada’s oldest state park. Other natural points of interest include Arch Rock, Atlatl Rock, Beehives, Petrified Logs, Balanced Rock, Mouse’s Tank, Fire Canyon, Silica Dome, Seven Sisters, White Domes and Elephant Rock. It’s said that some people choose the Valley of Fire, instead of the bright lights of Las Vegas or the world famous dancing Bellagio Fountains, as the setting for their weddings. There are four permitted locations for Valley of Fire weddings: Seven Sisters, Rainbow Vista, The Visitor’s Center, and The Cabins. Photo #4 by Phil (zrim)

Elephant Rock at Valley of Fire

Elephant Rock, an arch in the shape of an elephant, is right next to the main Valley of Fire Road that also happens to be part of the Nevada Scenic Byway. Photo #5 by Jens Fricke

Kaolin Wash, Valley Of Fire State Park

One of many washes, canyons, domes, towers, ridges and valleys. The photographer called this one, “Colorful Drainage.” Photo #6 by James Marvin Phelps

Petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock, Valley of Fire

Petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock, Valley of Fire. The State Park site explained “An atlatl (at’-lat-l) is a device used for launching a spear; usually a short cord wound around the spear so that when thrown into the air the weapon will rotate. The ancient Indians used these weapons and they are depicted in the petroglyphs (rock carvings) located at Atlatl Rock. This area has outstanding petroglyphs that should not be missed.” Photo #7 by Peter Kemmer

Cabins built during the depression by the Conservation Corps in Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada

Three cabins were built with Valley of Fire sandstone by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930’s. These historic cabins built during the Great Depression gave travelers a place to rest, but spending the night in them now is prohibited. Photo #8 by LDELD

Sunset at the Valley of Fire in Nevada

Sunset at the Valley of Fire in Nevada. Besides Rainbow Vista, there are other beloved-by-photographer spots like Piano Rock, Arch Rock, Striped Rock, Pink Canyon, Fire Wave, Windstone Arch, Glowing Cave, Thunderstorm Arch, Fire Cave and Crazy Hill. Photo #9 by LDELD

Milky Way over Valley of Fire, NV

Milky Way, Valley of Fire at night. The photographer said it was difficult to shoot the starfield images as the area, close to Las Vegas, often has planes flying overhead. Photo #10 by Carl Jones

Morning Radiance at Valley Of Fire State Park, Overton Nevada

Morning Radiance. The Valley of Fire is a National Natural Landmark located about an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, and about four and a half hours from Antelope Canyon, Arizona. The Nevada State Park is called the Valley of Fire because the red sandstone formations often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays. Photo #11 by James Marvin Phelps

Early Morning Reflections at Valley of Fire

Early Morning Reflections. Did you know Lake Mead National Recreation Area is located next to the Valley of Fire’s east entrance? Photo #12 by Jens Fricke

Rainbow of colors at Palette Hill in Valley of Fire State Park

Rainbow of colors at Palette Hill in Valley of Fire State Park. The photographer added, “It’s more commonly known as ‘Crazy Hill’.” This is not the only colorful eye candy, but Star Trek fans would recognize the rounded peaks of Silica Dome where the dazzling white tops stand in stark contrast to the scarlet red sandstone at the base. Trekkies know that alien-looking landscape as ‘Veridian III.’ In Star Trek Generations, it was the planet on which James T Kirk fell to his death. Wikipedia added, “In the film, Lake Mead is clearly visible in the background.” Photo #13 by John Fowler

Pink Canyon in  Valley of Fire State Park

Pink Canyon. The photographer wrote, “This colorful little canyon, in Valley of Fire State Park, is on the last dip in the road north from the Visitor Center. Heading east, it leads to the Fire Wave.” Photo #14 by John Fowler

Fire Wave Sunset at Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada

Fire Wave at Sunset. It’s the Mojave Desert, meaning not much shade, but it’s said that the best time to see the red rocks blaze under the sun like the valley is on fire is the late afternoon. Photo #15 by James Marvin Phelps

Windstone Arch, small cave in the Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Windstone Arch, a small cave. Photo #16 by cjarv2010

Juvenile Chuckwalla or Sauromalus ater in the Valley of Fire State Park

Juvenile Chuckwalla, or Sauromalus ater, in the Valley of Fire. The State Park is “teeming with wildlife, but most of the animals that reside in Valley of Fire are nocturnal. There 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.” Photo #17 by Leyo

White Domes trail at the Valley Of Fire State Park

White Domes trail. According to Valley of Fire site, “White Domes are sandstone formations with brilliant contrasting colors and a one-mile hike. The White Domes Trail is a moderate loop that combines sweeping desert vistas, a slot canyon, colors galore, windows, caves and a historic movie site. The White Domes area was the location for the 1966 movie The Professionals. This western, starring Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale was typical of the 1960s western genre. It was also responsible for the development of the road and access to this remarkable area. The remains of the site include a small portion of the wall of the hacienda.” Photo #18 by Phil (zrim)

Desert Big Horn Sheep, Valley Of Fire State

“Desert Big Horn Sheep,” wrote the photographer. These animals were hunted in this area long ago by natives using the ancient atlatl tool, which predates the bow and arrow. Wikipedia added, “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.” Photo #19 by James Marvin Phelps

Sunrise portal at Valley Of Fire State Park, Nevada

Sunrise portal. During the “Age of Reptiles,” about 150 million or so years ago, ancient pines grew in some parts of the West. Other logs and stumps washed into this valley. The park has fenced off areas to protect colorful Petrified Logs. Photo #20 by James Marvin Phelps

Lizard in the Valley of Fire

All plants, animals, artifacts, rocks and minerals are protected by state law. Rock climbing is limited to specific areas while the park is open sunrise to sunset. There are also campgrounds and a group camping area for activity after sunset. Photo #21 by Jenny (vmabney)

Curly Dirt on the Mouse's Tank hike, Valley of Fire

Curly dirt on the Mouse’s Tank hike. The “Mouse’s Tank is a natural basin in the rock where water collects after each rainfall. A half-mile round trip trail leads to Mouse’s Tank from the trailhead parking area. There are excellent examples of prehistoric petroglyphs on the trail. Mouse’s Tank is named for a Southern Paiute Indian renegade (“Little Mouse”) who used Valley of Fire as a hideout in the 1890’s after he was accused of killing two prospectors and other crimes in the area. It is named ‘The Mouse’s Tank’ because an alleged Southern Paiute Indian renegade named ‘Little Mouse’ hid out there in the 1890′s. He was accused of gunning down two prospectors and many other crimes.” Photo #22 by Sarah Nichols

Antelope Ground Squirrel in Valley Of Fire State Park

Antelope Ground Squirrel. Nevada State Parks states, “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. Popular activities include camping, hiking, picnicking and photography.” Photo #23 by James Marvin Phelps

Fire Canyon Arch in the Valley of Fire

Fire Canyon arch. Fire Canyon/Silica Dome was the setting for the movie Star Trek Generations. Photo #24 by John Fowler from Placitas, NM, USA

Rocks layered in rainbow of colors at Valley of Fire State Park, Rainbow Vista

Rocks layered in rainbow of colors, Rainbow Vista. Valley of Fire also served as backdrop for a Criss Angel Mindfreak stunt, the TV show Airwolf (1984-1987), and was recreated in Need for Speed: The Run video game. Other films shot here include: The Professionals (1966), Domino (2005), Cherry 2000 uses the Beehive group camping area, and Transformers has “a scene where the Autobots are driving along the valley with other military vehicles during sunset. The outside Mars scenes from Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, were almost totally shot in Valley of Fire.” Photo #25 by Andrew Davidoff

Atlatl Rock, Valley of Fire

Atlatl Rock. The photographer added, “The rock colors are so crazy.” Petroglyphs can be found throughout the entire park, but Mouse’s Tank and Atlatl Rock are two spots where there are many petroglyphs. Photo #26 by Sarah Nichols

Petroglyphs at Valley of Fire Nevada

Petroglyphs. The photographer noted, “Using my ancient languages translation book, I’ve deciphered these ancient writings: ‘Y U NO KILL MAMMOTH!'” Photo #27 by Great Beyond

Balancing Rock in the Valley of Fire

Balanced Rock is right outside the Visitor Center and is therefore frequently photographed. Others gorgeous formations photographed are most easily found via GPS coordinates. The Valley of Fire park officials said the area “derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. Other important rock formations include limestones, shales, and conglomerates.” Photo #28 by James Marvin Phelps

Seven Sisters, Valley of Fire State Park, Overton, Nevada

Seven Sisters. According to the photographer, “Large and located beside the main road through the Valley of Fire, the Seven Sisters are difficult to capture. The best view seems to be some distance away.” Seven Sisters at Valley of Fire State Park “is a group of 7 tall, red, eroded boulders surround by the sandy desert. Once part of the nearby red formations, these rock towers are all that remain after the relentless forces or erosion stripped away the surrounding sandstone deposits. Numerous ‘blow holes’ forecast the eventual destruction of the towers that will take place many hundreds of years in the future.” Photo #29 by Wayne Hsieh

Kissing in the midst of Seven Sisters rock formation at Valley of Fire

Kissing in the midst of Seven Sisters rock formation. The photographer wrote, “One of the crown jewels of Nevada State Parks system, Valley of Fire is a nice day trip from Las Vegas, and offers many hiking opportunities. In the midst of the ‘Seven Sisters’ formations, a couple is posing for wedding photos. I think my photo angle was as good as the official wedding photographer’s.” Photo #30 by InSapphoWeTrust

Beehives at the Valley of Fire State Park

Beehive. The Valley of Fire site states The “Beehives are sandstone formations that not only demonstrate the unique design that can be created by nature, but is an excellent representation of geologic cross bedding. Those are the grooved lines going in different directions. The layers or beds represent different layers of silt that are deposited at different times. The beds indicate the angle of the wind or water was moving at the time the material was deposited. Cross bedding is very common in sand dunes, beach deposits, and river sediments. A short path winds through rocky dunes with hills of the Muddy Mountains visible in the distance. Photo #31 by Yinghai

Valley of Fire White Dome Trail slot canyon

Slot canyon along White Dome Trail. Photo #32 by monica.orchard

Slot Canyon in the Valley of Fire, Nevada

The more time you to take appreciate the all the slot canyons, caves and amazing arches, the more incredible Valley of Fire seems. Photo #33 by B G

Hidden canyon, Valley of Fire State Park

Hidden canyon. Popular hikes in Valley of Fire include Mouse’s Tank Trail, Petroglyph Canyon Trail, Atlatl Rock Trail, Rainbow Vista, and White Domes Trail. Photo #34 by B G

Virgin Mountains seen from Valley of Fire, southern Nevada

Virgin Mountains seen from Valley of Fire, southern Nevada. Photo #35 by Stan Shebs

Color waves on the rocks in the Valley of Fire

The red formations are fantastic when the valley looks like it’s afire, but color waves in the rocks are incredible. The majority of Yelpers love the Valley of Fire. Photo #36 by B G

Valley of Fire

Rainbow Vista, Valley of Fire. Photo #37 by BG

Stitched Panorama, rock formation Valley of Fire

Stitched Panorama, rock formation Valley of Fire. Photo #38 by LDELD

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