Mouse's Tank – Moapa Valley, Nevada - Atlas Obscura

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Mouse's Tank

Valley of Fire State Park
Moapa Valley, Nevada

Named after an outlaw who used the basin as a hideout.  


The Valley of Fire is a beautiful state park full of stunning rock formations and filled with the petrified remains of plants and animals. The location has long been inhabited by indigenous populations for centuries before it was declared a state park. 

The track is named after a Southern Paiute Indian named Little Mouse, who hid in one of the water tanks in the 1890s after being accused of killing two prospectors. He was found shortly after a manhunt and it’s believed that he was killed.

Besides the natural water tanks, the trail is famous for the hundreds of petroglyphs that are carved into the west wall of the canyon, the oldest of which are well over 4,000 years old. 

Visitors with a keen eye will find a hierarchy in the petroglyphs, with those closest to the ground representing everyday activities and symbols like water. Those above are mostly dedicated to hunting and the highest layer seems to hold ritualistic petroglyphs with shamans and religious symbolism.

Know Before You Go

The canyon is visitable when inside the Valley of Fire, you have to pay to enter the park but the rest is free. Make sure to bring water, there is none available here and it can get very hot.

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