Valley of Fire State Park- Day Trip From Las Vegas
This was a location that was HIGH on my list for quite some time. It's one of those things that popped up years ago on my social media. I saw photos of a friend visiting and was instantly drawn to it just for the beauty! Fast forward to booking our trip to Vegas and Utah in April and it was exactly where we were going, I knew we needed to make it happen. See other Las Vegas trip details here.
Keep reading for all you need to know about this fun day trip just 1 hour outside of Las Vegas. One thing to note is that this is 1 hour to the entrance only and it will take a bit more time to really get into the park. You'll want to visit here at least once in your life if you can or are in the area. It's well known for its fire-y red sandstone, stunning rock formations, colorful canyons, and the most scenic routes to drive.
First things first- make sure you bring PLENTY of sunscreen (it's called Valley of Fire after-all...) we dropped the ball on this one and even though we only spent a few hours, we were quite crisp when leaving. Also be sure to bring water, lots and lots of water-or at least empty water bottles. The visitor center on site does have spigots to fill up your bottles at. Entrance fees are required and are $10 per in state vehicle or $15 per out of state vehicle. I was prepared with cash but they also took credit cards. Bring your phone or camera too- theres plenty of views to snap! Lastly, this should probably go without saying but make sure to fill your car with gas before heading into the park. 🙂
**Driving into the park-red sandstone and Big Horned Sheep
We only spent a very short time here but there is actually quite a bit to see. There are several shorter hikes that you could tackle in a day trip but it is also drivable and spectacular to see from the road with little walking/hiking. We drove most of the park and many of the "iconic" rock formations from the road. We also did one hike during our visit.
The hike we did was the Fire Wave Trail, which is 1.5 miles round trip. This was an easy hike with mostly very flat or gradual slopes. There is only 175 ft of elevation change on the whole trail. The fire wave is one of the more well known images in the park and fun to see. It only takes a few seconds to climb to the very top of!
Note:There is ample parking at each trailhead but obviously the earlier you get there in the day the less traffic. We were there decently early and by the time we were leaving around mid day there were noticeably more cars and people.
**The View From Above at Mouse's Tank Road
We also parked and got out to take a couple pictures along Mouse's Tank Road (and drove it all too!). This is probably the most photographed location in the whole park. The winding road with the geography and red rocks in the background is just breathtaking. It is gorgeous to simply drive through and admire all the beauty too without getting out of your vehicle. This road takes you to several of the trailheads so its hard to miss. There are so many cool shots to capture, but the best in my opinion (and with lots of research and suggestions ahead of time as well) is right before the Rainbow Vista Trailhead. You will see a small spot you can pull over and park in large enough for about 3 cars. This is where we took the images you see here. We also climbed a large rock and got some images from above. So incredibly beautiful, I couldn't get enough.
I wish we had time to see more but I under estimated how amazing (and hot!) it would be. On our drive in and out we did see Beehives, Seven Sister, Elephant Rock and Balancing Rock from the car. There is a slot canyon here on the White Domes trail that we did not see but would have been pretty amazing along with Arch Rock (the popular and spectacular arches that people love to photograph) which would have also been worth checking out.
All in all this was an incredible stop on our way out of Las Vegas and I wish we would have devoted more time to it. The beauty of this state park is unmatched in any other state park I've ever visited. As mentioned many of these rocks/sites above require very little hiking if any and are accessible just off the road so this makes it a great stop for anyone!
Which location would you most like to see in the Valley of Fire?
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