America's Scenic Byways

Valley of Fire State Park Roadways

10.47 miles - Allow at least half an hour to tour this byway.

As part of the Mojave Desert, the Valley of Fire Roadways pass through brilliant and starkly beautiful landscape. Valley of Fire State Park is Nevada's oldest and largest state park. The rock colors and formations that make up the park vary in color from tans and whites to deep purples and reds. It is not the various shades of red that give the park its name, however. The rock formations are particularly luminous as the sun's rays drench them just after sunrise and just before sunset. It's during these times that the valley's rocks gather the intensity of the sunlight and appear to glow a deep fiery red. Throughout the entire day visitors will notice rocks mutate from benign oranges and browns to deeper, more dramatic shades with every shift in the sunlight. The sun also molds the rock into new shapes. Sandstone that seemed to be nothing more than pitted rock becomes a hauntingly expressive canvas, filled with long shadows, curved surfaces, and hidden places.

The park's formation began millions of years ago and contains eroded sandstone formations and sand dunes over 150 million years old. The roadways will take travelers past natural and geologic marvels such as the Arch Rock, Piano Rock, and Rainbow Vista. Rainbow Vista is a favorite with photographers for the panoramic view of intensely multicolored sandstone. The four-mile White Domes Road also winds through the park. Along the way, the multi-colored sandstone fluctuates from ground level to a stunning 400-foot height, ultimately leading to Silica Dome, a regal formation of sparkling white rocks. Every turn of the road brings another remarkable and unique feature of the Valley of Fire into view.

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