This is the Valley of Fire State Park which contains around 40,000 acres of brilliantly hued red Aztec sandstone outcroppings clad in gray and tan colored limestone. These were formed during the Jurassic period and are remnants of sand deposits left behind by the wind after inland seas subsided and the land rose.
This vibrant landscape is home to ancient petrified trees dating back millions of years as well as petroglyphs from the First Nations peoples that lived in this area. Archeological finds show that pre-historic man moved into southern this area around 11,000 years ago and the petroglyphs are believed to have been carved into the rocks by the Basketmaker culture about 2,500 years ago, followed later by carvings added by Early Pueblo culture people. First Nations Paiutes were living in this area in 1865 when Mormons settled at nearby St. Thomas at the south end of the Moapa Valley. Farming, ranching, and mining have all occurred in the region along the narrow stretches of water in the dry valley.