On our way back from Mesquite, AZ we decided to go to the Valley of Fire State Park. This is another place on my Nevada bucket list, so I was excited to go! It’s location is 29450 Valley of Fire Highway Overton, NV. It is about an hour from Las Vegas. The park is open from sunrise to sunset, but you can camp at one of the two campgrounds. These are a first come basis for a space. There is a $10 entrance fee for Nevada residents and $15 for non-residents.

History of Park

Some history on the Valley of Fire. The park is 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone nestled in gray and tan limestone. Ancestral Puebloans lived in and around the park over 2500 years ago as discovered by the petroglyphs found in the valley. The park opened in 1934 and officially designated Valley of Fire State Park in 1935. The park got it’s name from a AAA official who was driving through the park before it was an official park at sunset and with the varying forms of sandstone and limestone combining to look like it was on fire. It is the oldest and largest state park. There are some truly stunning colors here.

Drive tour

If you’ve read some of our other articles, you’ll know that we are not big hikers, so we only went to the places where there were pull offs. I was going to do the short hike to Elephant rock, but of course we went when it was 95 degrees and a tour bus just unloaded in front of us, so I passed this time. If you want to see this, it is the first stop after entering the park from the east entrance. It is a short .2-mile hike from the parking lot. We hope to go back in the spring when it is a little cooler and do some of the shorter hikes. We did stop at the Visitors Center, which I recommend if you like to learn about history. With this stop and all of the other pull offs available, it took us about 2.5 hours to see the park.

Places of Interest

Atlatl Rock has petroglyphs that you can walk up to from a platform about 200 yards from the parking area. This stop also has a picnic area with tables and grills. Mouse’s Tank road- this entire road has amazing views and there is a spot that has been used in movies such as Total Recall and Viva Las Vegas. There is also a place to hike here that leads to a basin where water collects. You can see some petroglyphs on the rocks during the hike. It is a short one .75 miles out and back.

The Beehives is another spot of interest. There is also a pull off here with a parking lot. You can see them right from the parking lot or walk a little way in to see more of them. It is a great place to get pictures of not only the beehives but also more of the valley.

Seven Sisters is another place you can pull off and get some great pictures. It is a cluster of seven sandstone rock formations. There is also a picnic area here.

Also along the drive is Rainbow Vista. Again, there is a pull off for this area. If you choose to hike to see more of this area, the hike is only about 1-mile round trip.

At the end of Fire Canyon Road, you can find Silica Dome. This shows the different rock in the valley on one dome. It has a striped effect of colors and is very beautiful.

Hikes

Valley of Fire has a lot of stop offs that have short hikes, but it also has a couple of longer hikes if you enjoy hiking. Seven Wonders is one of the hikes that will take you through Fire Wave which has white and red rock that look like zebra stripes and also takes you to Pink Canyon, also called Pastel Canyon. It has beautiful light pinkish rock. This is a 1.8-mile loop of moderate difficulty. There is parking on both sides of the road where you can start the loop. Another trail is the White Domes Trail. It is 1.25-mile loop, also a moderate difficulty level trail.

More Information

If you are coming from Las Vegas, it is about an hour drive. Head north on Interstate 15 and take exit for Valley of Fire State Park. Spring and Fall are good times to visit, just wear layers as it will heat up as the day goes on. Winter is also a good time to visit when the highs are in the 60’s, however days are shorter then so keep that in mind when planning your trip. It is least crowded in the morning, so try to get there then. You will be given a map when you pay your entrance fee to help plan where you want to go in the park. If you plan to camp, it is $20 per night for residents of NV and $ 25 for non-residents. For more information visit the park’s website.

If you don’t live near Las Vegas, I hope that you take time to visit some of the natural beauty in your area whether for a day trip or long weekend. Go find your adventure! To see more of our adventures click here:https://youtu.be/TdZyLzm_mPk

Conclusion

Valley of Fire is one of the most popular state parks in Nevada. The bright red rock intermixed with the varying colors of sandstone and limestone are stunning! The really nice thing is there are so many places to stop for pictures and a lot of the hikes are short, so if you don’t do a lot of hiking you can probably still do a few of them with no problem. It’s relative closeness, makes it a great place to explore if you’re staying in Las Vegas. We love to share our adventures with people and hope to inspire you to find your own adventure. Explore close to home or on vacation whenever you can and have fun!!

By Greg and Peggy

We are two people who love to travel, thrift and play slot machines. We love going to new places, especially if there is a casino! We just want to share our adventures with people and hope to inspire them to explore and have fun!

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