Mounted Spanish soldiers and priests first passed through the area in 1541. None ever entered the Valley of Fire, but word of their presence quickly came to the Southern Paiutes. To the left if a drawing of how such a party of explorers would have looked. To the Southern Paiutes, these were strange beings indeed, seemingly half animal and half human.
"... we went on the mouth of [the Muddy River] small but apparently unfailing on the bank of which was several Lodges of Indians... They had corn (which was gathered) Pumpkins squashes and some small green Water Melons. I soon purchased some pumpkins and squashes and encamped..." (Fur trapper Jedediah Strong Smith, September 30, 1826)