Atlatl Rock & Surrounding Area

Atlatl Rock, Valley of Fire, Nevada, Petroglyphs, Rock Art, Moapa Valley
A heavily petroglyphed rock near Atlatl Rock

The Valley of Fire is a location in southern Nevada, full of stunning red Aztec sandstone landscapes, wind-carved through the millennia.  This area also contains a lot of prehistoric rock art, pottery shards and lithic scatters.  Many of the petroglyphs are estimated to be around 4,000 years-old.  Atlatl Rock is a single rock that you can drive to, with stairs going up 80′ to the main panel.  Most people will go and take a look at this single (and impressive) panel and leave.  Don’t make this mistake.  Get out and hike around…explore.  There are LOTS of other petroglyphs in the immediate area, along with a lot of fun areas to scramble in and out of.  So, what is an atlatl?  It’s a hunting tool that pre-dates bow & arrow…per the info panel at the site: “An atlatl is a throwing stick or a dart thrower used by ancient tribes to give more force to their darts or spears. It was usually a wooden stick about two feet long with a handhold on one end and a hook on the other end. A slot cut in the tail end of the dart was set against the hook, allowing the dart to lie along the atlatl so that both could be grasped midway of the dart by the user.”

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