Welcome to Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada's oldest state park, dedicated in 1935. The Valley derives its name from the red sand formations and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert. Only 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, the park occupies a basin about 6 miles long and 3-4 miles wide. It's jagged walls and rough floor contain formations of eroded red sandstone formed from great shifting sand dunes that date back 150 million years. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape. Other rock formations include shales, conglomerates, and limestone.
In Memory of Sergeant John J. Clark John J. Clark was born in Canada in 1844. He enlisted as a private in Company F of the New York Infantry in 1862, serving actively in the Civil War. After being shot in the hand and contracting typhoid fever, he was honorably discharged 6 March 1863 as a sergeant in Company B of the New York Calvary. Following his discharge, Sergeant Clark emigrated to Southern California to Salt Lake City on a buckboard, he stopped near this spot, tied his horse to the back of the wagon and wandered around, possibly looking for water. Eventually, he crawled under his buckboard and died, presumably from thirst, several days before his body was found 30 June 1915.