Valley of Fire State Park : 11 Animals We Saw While Hiking 

The Valley of Fire State Park is located in the Mojave desert as well as a national preserve. The park includes a diverse assortment of natural geological and ecological resources which range from massive sandstone formations to rare ecosystems.

The park gets its name from the red color that is present in most of the rock. While visiting the park you will find there are three major subdivisions; visitors can enjoy scenic drives, trails, quiet hiking, campgrounds, picnic areas and perhaps most highly anticipated an abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities, especially for birders.

We spend a couple of weeks twice a year hiking here. Here is the amazing wildlife we have been lucky to see.


Coyotes are a common sight in the valley of fire state park. They are often seen at night and early morning, hunting for food.

Coyotes are also known to be active during the day, especially during periods of high temperatures.

They can be found in almost every part of the park, with the exception of the campgrounds and picnic areas.

House Finch 

The House Finch is a small bird, measuring 4 to 5 inches in length. The male and female House Finch look alike. The male has a brown head and breast, with a black bib on his throat. The female’s head and breast are a lighter brown color.

The House Finch is a common sight in the valley of fire state park. They can be found all over the park, but they prefer to stay near water sources such as creeks and ponds. This makes sense because they like to eat seeds and fruit that have fallen on the ground.

Red Tailed Hawk

The Red Tailed Hawk is a very common bird in the valley of fire state park. They perch high in the trees and swoop down to catch their prey.

They are very territorial and can be aggressive towards other hawks and birds that enter their territory. Their diet consists mostly of small animals like lizards, mice and small birds.

The red tailed hawk has a large wingspan and long tail which makes it easier for them to soar through the air. They also have sharp claws that can rip apart their prey with ease. T

he best way to see these majestic birds is by taking a tour through the park on foot or by car. You can also see them from your hotel room by going outside at sunrise or sunset when they are most active!

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

Black-tailed jackrabbits are medium-sized mammals that live in the desert regions of the United States. They are native to Nevada and Arizona, where they favor sparsely vegetated habitats such as scrublands and desert flats.

The jackrabbit is a member of the Leporidae family, which also includes hares and pikas. Jackrabbits are very similar in appearance to both hares and rabbits, but have a number of distinguishing traits that set them apart from these other species.

Desert Bighorn Sheep

The Desert Bighorn Sheep is a species of sheep found in North America. It is one of two species of bighorn sheep, and its only living member, being the other one extinct. The desert bighorn lives in parts of Nevada, California, Arizona and Utah.

The desert bighorn sheep is a very large animal that weighs up to 300 pounds and can be as tall as four feet at the shoulder. Their horns are long, spiraled and reach up to five feet in length.

The coat is usually reddish-brown or tan but can also be black or white. They live in rocky terrain that has sparse vegetation where they can find food and shelter from predators like mountain lions or coyotes.

Greater Roadrunner 

The Greater Roadrunner can be found in open areas with low vegetation, such as deserts and plains, but also in agricultural fields. They eat snakes, lizards, insects and small mammals.

The roadrunner has a long flexible neck, which it uses to reach down into burrows after prey. It also uses its long tail to balance when running on top of fences or other structures.

Antelope Ground Squirrel 

Antelope Ground Squirrel is a small species of ground squirrel, commonly found in the valley of fire state park. This small mammal weighs about 100gms and measures about 15 inches in length from head to tail.

The Antelope Ground Squirrel is native to North America and is found in desert regions as well as grasslands.

They are herbivores and feed on seeds, nuts, berries and fruit. The Antelope Ground Squirrel has a thick coat of fur which protects them from extreme weather conditions such as heat and cold.

Their fur also helps them camouflage themselves when they are hiding from predators such as birds of prey, coyotes, foxes and snakes.

Desert Kit Fox 

The Desert Kit Fox is the smallest species of fox in North America. It has a body length of 24-28 inches and weighs less than 3 pounds. The Kit Fox has small ears, a long bushy tail, and large eyes that give it its name.

In the valley of fire state park there are many different animals such as the desert kit fox, bobcat, mountain lion, coyote and rattlesnake. The desert kit fox can be found all across the Sonoran desert in Arizona and Nevada along with southeastern California into Baja California Mexico.

The desert kit fox is nocturnal which means it hunts for prey at night. They are omnivores meaning they eat both plants and animals as their main diet. Their main diet consists of insects such as locusts and crickets along with other small mammals like mice and rabbits.

Gambel’s Quail 

They can be seen everywhere, running around the desert and hopping around on the ground. The Gambel’s Quail are a medium sized bird with brown feathers and a light colored belly. They have a black cap on their heads and long tails that they use to balance themselves as they hop around on their short legs and toes.

The Gambel’s Quail like to live in open areas with low vegetation, so they can easily see predators coming from far away. They also like to live near water sources because it helps them find food, especially during dry seasons when there isn’t much vegetation left for them to eat in the desert.

They are very shy creatures who like to hide from predators by hiding behind bushes or under rocks or logs. If they feel threatened by something bigger than themselves they will run away or call out loudly so that other animals know where they are so they can be protected too!

Costa’s Hummingbird

The Costa’s Hummingbird is one of the most common hummingbirds in the valley of fire state park. The bird is small, only about 6 to 7 inches long and weighs less than an ounce. It has a curved bill, which it uses to reach into flowers for nectar and insects.

The hummingbird has a wide variety of colors on its body including green, blue and orange. The iridescent coloring along with the bright colors make it easy for other birds to spot this bird from far away!

Hummingbirds are known for their ability to hover in mid-air while feeding from flowers and plants. They can flap their wings up to 50 times per second! This allows them to fly forward at speeds up to 15 miles per hour!

Speckled Rattlesnake

The Speckled Rattlesnake is a small species of rattlesnake found in the Mojave Desert and Sonoran Desert regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

This snake is a terrestrial hunter that eats lizards, small mammals, birds, and eggs. It is considered to be an aggressive snake that will strike when cornered or threatened. The Speckled Rattlesnake can be found near rocky outcrops, under rocks, and in brushy areas within its range.


Whether you are a resident of the Las Vegas valley or just a visitor, the Valley of Fire State Park is definitely worth a visit. The park provides an impressive array of natural environments, as well as cultural resources, that aren’t found elsewhere in the state. It is easy to see why this land was protected by our nation’s leaders long ago.

Crazy thing, the desert. Especially this one. We mean, the amount of wildlife to be found here will surprise you. Just don’t get too close to the animals. And bring a camera!

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