As I've mentioned before when talking about Red Rock Canyon, while Las Vegas isn't an outdoor destination, it does have a few amazing outdoor locations. Like Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire is a spot for outdoors enthusiasts who find themselves in the greater Las Vegas area for a day or longer and wish to escape the glitter and glam of the city itself. The Valley of Fire is further away from Las Vegas proper; but it is Nevada's first State Park; and it contains the eroded remains of red sandstone formations that were formerly sand dunes some 150 million years ago. The Valley of Fire also contains Atlatl Rock, a series of petroglyphs carved over 1500 year ago. This rock is considered one of the best representations of an "atlatl" - a throwing board - among other things. There are also a number of other great petroglyphs near and around the actual rock.
Directions: Valley of Fire State Park is located 50 miles to the Northeast of Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, take I-15 North for 37 miles to exit 75 - "Valley of Fire-Lake Mead". For the next fifteen miles (15), follow the Valley of Fire highway East-Northeast to the park entrance (the park is open year round). From the park entrance, follow the park road for two miles, whereupon the turnoff will be well marked and signed. From the parking area, the actual Atlatl Rock is a .1 mile walk across the desert and up a series of steps. While the steps are steep, they are accessible to all hikers. As I mentioned above, visitors to the area should also look around the actual rock and canyons surrounding it for other petroglyphs that are equally as spectacular. As with all sacred sites, visitors should exercise leave no trace principles, and respect the history and culture of the site.