Nevada’s Valley of Fire

June 11, 2015


Photographer: Ray Boren
Summary Author: Ray Boren

Blazingly colored sandstone formations gave southwestern Nevada’s Valley of Fire its evocative name. Located in the Mojave Desert northeast of Las Vegas, the white- to red-rock domes, cliffs, slots, niches and arches in the popular state park are evidence of a sand dune desert that dates to Earth’s dinosaur age — 150 million years ago.

RedrockFolding, uplifting, fracturing and erosion have since exposed thousands of feet of lithified dunes, illustrated by the layered foreground formation in this photograph, taken on March 28, 2015. In the distance, the erosional processes are creating a beautiful rock rainbow, which is emerging as a natural relief sculpture from the Aztec Sandstone. Valley of Fire’s sandstones are almost pure silica, often stained and tinted to various shades of rusty red by traces of iron and other minerals.

The inset photo shows an arch and cave in the Valley of Fire photographed by Bachir Badaoui.

Photo Details: Camera Model: NIKON D3200; Lens: AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G; Focal Length: 36mm (35mm equivalent: 54mm); Aperture: ƒ/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.0020 s (1/500); ISO equiv: 400; Software: iPhoto 9.6.1.