5. From Las Vegas: Valley of Fire Tour
Experience the incredible Valley of Fire, once the spiritual center of a great American civilization. The rock formations and Indian art will amaze you as you discover the ancient art and artifacts on a 7-hour tour. Valley of Fire State Park, covering nearly 42,000 acres, is the oldest and largest state park in Nevada, and was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968. Its name is derived from the red sandstone formations, created by the great shifting sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park's attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays. Located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, at an elevation of between 2,000 and 2,600 feet, the valley abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area at the Virgin River confluence. The park entry on Valley of Fire Highway, designated as a Nevada Scenic Byway, passes through the Moapa River Indian Reservation. Although petroglyphs are found throughout the entire park, Mouse's Tank and Atlatl Rock are 2 areas in particular where they are relatively easily accessible. Valley of Fire has provided the setting for numerous films and television shows as well as many car commercials, including the 1966 film, The Professionals with Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin and Claudia Cardinale; the 1984-1987 CBS TV show, Airwolf starring Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine; the 1987 science fiction cult film, Cherry 2000 starring Melanie Griffith and David Andrews; the 1990 American science fiction action film, Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; the 1994 American science fiction film, Star Trek Generations; Criss Angel's show, Criss Angel Mindfreak; the 2005 American action film, Domino starring Keira Knightley; the 2007 American science fiction action film, Transformers: Need for Speed: The Run, a car racing video game; and Lana Del Rey's Ride music video. This is truly a special place, and the filmmakers know it. Come and see it for yourself!