Valley of Fire State Park is located in southern Nevada approximately 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, within the context of the larger Mohave Desert Region. The Valley of Fire State Park opened in 1934 before receiving its legal designation in 1935, giving it the claim of the first state park in Nevada.
Built in 1968, the current park Visitor Center struggles to meet the demands of the over 700,000 visitors arriving yearly. Visitation to the park continues to grow due to increases in local population and tourism as well as the rising popularity of outdoor recreation. A new visitor center will not only help meet the current needs, but plan for the future of the park.
The new visitor center site was selected from four location options, with consideration given to visual quality, topography, and proximity to campsites, trailheads, rock features, and utilities. The chosen site is located in proximity to the campgrounds, Beehives trailhead, and Petrified Wood trailhead. Nearby and on-site rock formations add to the visual appeal of the location and provide opportunities for recreation. Located near the existing well and water tanks should allow for easier access to utilities. A new, modern visitor center at this location will be easily accessible for the majority of visitors who enter the park through the west entrance. Providing a new introduction to the park, the visitor center will be designed to enhance the visitor and staff experience of the park.
Valley of Fire is so named not for literal flames, but for the stunning colors of its rock formations, especially at sunset. It’s a metaphor that is continued throughout the park: visitors can hike to the fire wave and the seasonal high temperatures could be compared to the heat from flames or an oven. As a small spark can start a blazing fire, the visitor center experience is just the beginning to everything that Valley of Fire State Park has to offer.