Things To Do at The Valley of Fire State Park – Here’s How You Plan a Perfect Trip


If you’re planning to spend some quality time in Las Vegas, your trip can be more worthwhile if you decide to visit Valley of Fire State Park. It is one of the reasons to visit Sin City, Las Vegas, and you’ll surely get a ton of astonishing pictures for your social media.

The place is full of fiery-red sandstone formations and gives you a chance to explore nature at its best. Apart from that, there are several things you can do there to experience a memorable day trip.

So, if you’re planning to visit Valley of Fire soon, this write-up has covered everything you should know. Read on!

What is Valley of Fire State Park?

Valley of Fire is a national park located in Nevada that covers around 46,000 acres with red sandstone rock formations. It could be one of the fun things to do in Las Vegas, as the recreational park is just an hour away from here.

The park also includes other spectacular options like the 2000-year-old petroglyphs, the Mojave Desert, interesting hikes, and a lot more.

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire is about 150 million years old and is the result of continuous sand shifting. After several transformations by the authorities, it was opened as a State Park for the public in 1935.

Moreover, “Valley of Fire” got its name in the 1920s from an AAA official who claimed the place looks like it is set on fire.

Sounds interesting, right? So, let’s proceed further to help you figure out where exactly the Valley of Fire is.

Where is the Valley of Fire?

If you’re not from Nevada but have plans to visit here soon, or you’re planning a move to Nevada, you must know where the Valley of Fire is.

To answer your question, this state park is situated in the Mojave Desert, which is about 58 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. It is at an elevation of 1,320–3,009 feet and shares its boundary with Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

If you’re arriving from Las Vegas, take I-15 North, then Exit 75, drive towards the East, and you’ll reach Valley of Fire.

When done with the directions, choose the perfect date to visit Valley of Fire, Nevada. Similar to this, there are various places to visit in New York City to explore the city more.

Best Time to Visit Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire is open to the public 24/7, but the visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In terms of the weather, spring and fall are said to be the best times to visit here, so you must plan your trip between October to April. On the other hand, summers can be too harsh on you, as the temperature goes up to 120 °F, which is high enough to ruin your experience. 

Valley of Fire State Park entrance

However, if visiting the park in Summer is the only option you have, you must start your journey in the early morning or after sunset. You also get 24-hour access to the campgrounds, but if you’re found hanging out within the park boundaries before sunrise and after sunset, it will be considered trespassing.

So, if you’re planning to visit Valley of Fire, you can refer to the table below for the entry fees.

Any Type of VehicleNon-NV Vehicle
Day Use Entrance Fee$10.00$15.00
Camping Fee$20.00$25.00 + $10.00 for utilities

If you visit on a bike, you only need to pay $2.00. Also, if you’re arriving with a large group, you can pay $25 for Group Use Area Reservation. You must pay the fees at the entry booth of the park, but if you don’t find any representatives at the Valley of Fire visitor center, you must pay at the Self-Pay Fee Station.

Self-Pay Fee Station

After making the entrance, you have a plethora of things to do at the Fire Valley National Park. Let’s discuss some of them in the next section.

Things to Do at Valley of Fire

Now that you know a bit about Valley of the Fire State Park, it’s time to introduce the best possible things you can do here. Let’s have a look:

Take a Scenic Drive

Taking a scenic drive through the Valley of Fire can be one of the best reasons to hit the road with your friends. Carry on some interesting conversation with your group, hum along to some melodies, or just look out the window to enjoy the beautiful rock formations. 

Scenic drive at Valley of Fire

There are two main roads going through the Valley of Fire. The first option is Highway NV 169, which runs North to South to the park. And the other option is the White Domes Road, also known as Mouse’s Tank Road, which takes you northwards beside the visitor center.

Enjoy the Viewpoints

While enjoying the road trip or when en route to the Valley of Fire, you can stop by to see the most famous sandstone formations and viewpoints mentioned below:

  • Atlatl Rock: The Atlatl Rock is a pretty tall rock formation and one of the best displays of petroglyphs you’ll find at the Valley of Fire. As a visitor, you can climb up the stairs to see some amazing rock art.
    Atlatl Rock
  • Pink Canyon: The Pink Canyon is one of the prettiest places you must see in the Valley of Fire. It is popularly known as pastel canyon, which is made with stones of different shades of pastel pink. You must visit here in the early morning when the sun is not shining that bright, which perfectly reflects different hues of pink.
    Pink Canyon
  • The Seven Sisters: Seven Sisters is a quick stop that you must consider while going through the Valley of Fire Highway. It is a formation of seven boulders standing tall in the sandy deserts of the Valley of Fire National Park. The rocks are red and have signs of erosion on them. If your main purpose is to click some great Valley of Fire State Park photos, don’t skip Seven Sisters!
    Seven Sisters
  • The Beehives: The Beehives got their name from the sandstorm formations that appear like beehive nests. You’ll find them on the right side if you enter through the West entrance. A visit here will not take more than 10 minutes, so you can consider it even if you’re in a hurry.
    The Beehives
  • Elephant Rock: The Elephant Rock brings up the unique element of the Valley of Fire, as it resembles an elephant. You’ll find it near the east entrance, and if you’re planning to hike, it’s just a 1.25-mile loop.
    Elephant Rock
  • The Fire Wave: However, you must plan your trip early in the morning if you don’t want this place to get crowded. The white and red striped sandstone seems like swirled ice cream or a wave, which surely attracts visitors here.
    The Fire Wave

The captivating viewpoints make Valley of Fire a scenic beauty and will surely give you some unforgettable moments. However, if you’re the adventurous type, you must try the hiking trails.

Experience the Hiking Trails

If you’d like to add the adventure factor to your trip to Valley of Fire, you must try the hiking trails. You can go through some of the recommended State Park hikes mentioned below:

  • White Domes Trail: The White Domes Trail is the most popular and challenging hike in the Valley of Fire. You can bring your kids here and enjoy a walk through the narrow slot canyon, which is a loop of 1.2 miles. It begins at the sandy gap between two ridges and ends at a dry drainage. Moreover, it was used as a movie set during the shooting of “The Professionals” in 1996.
    White Domes Trail
  • Balanced Rock: The Balanced Rock is a short (0.5 miles) but fun trail that you can enjoy with your kids. It is a huge rock that maintains its balance on top of another rock. Moreover, it also contains eye-catching rock formations under which your kids can easily crawl.
    Balanced rock
  • Mouse’s Tank Hike: The Mouse Tanks is a pretty easy hike that you can try, as it is nothing but a huge rock face covered in petroglyphs that end in a small water body. Mouse Tank is named after an outlaw called “Little Mouse” who used it as a hiding place for years. 
    Mouse’s Tank Hike
  • Rainbow Vista Trail: The Rainbow Vista Trail is only a 1-mile round trip, and you can climb up the hill to get a panoramic view of the whole state park. Once you get to the top, you’ll see an assortment of rocks in different colors that resemble a rainbow.
    Rainbow Vista Trail
  • Petrified Wood Trail: Petrified wood is a fossilized tree that eventually turns into a stone. This trail is the simplest of all, and you only need to travel 0.3 miles (back and forth).
    Petrified Wood Trail

So, these are the hiking trails you can experience while enjoying your trip at Fire Valley State Park.

Go Camping

If you have no experience with camping and would like to have one, Valley of Fire could be the perfect place for planning your first camping trip. However, you need to pay additional fees at the campgrounds to use the camping area. You can find two campgrounds with 72 units, and they provide campsites on a first-come, first-served basis. Moreover, you’ll get the basic amenities at the campsites, like water, tables, restrooms, etc.

Visit the Fire Canyon/Silica Dome Viewpoint

Before you leave, visiting the viewpoint that surrounds the whole park is a must. You can reach there easily from the Visitor Center, and there’s no need to hike as you can take your car. However, you may need help with the directions.

Fire Canyon

The collective view of the blue sky, the astonishing red rocks of Fire Canyon, and the sandstone of Silica Dome is sure to be captured before you leave this place.

The Order to Visit the Places – The Itinerary

After going through the things to do at this beautiful state park, you must be wondering if it’s possible to visit every place in a single day. Also, will it be possible to return from Valley of Fire State Park to Las Vegas before the day ends? The table below provides you with the perfect itinerary, and if you can follow that, you may complete your trip within a day.

Visiting OrderSight NameReason
1stBeehivesThe first thing you see after entering the park.
2ndAtlatl RockIt is only 0.5 miles away from Beehives.
3rdArch RockPretty close to Atlatl Rock.
4thFire CaveLocated on Campground Road, it takes you back to the main highway. 
5thVisitor CenterRest for a bit and sort things out.
6thSeven SistersContinue your journey and have lunch here.
7thElephant RockVery close to the Eastern Entrance.
8thMouse’s TankThis 5.7-mile long road will take you through the best hikes and sights of the park.
9thRainbow VistaClimb up here to get the best view of the park and rest before you leave.

So, if you have the energy and time, you can proceed further to the North from Rainbow Vista and spend some time at Fire Cave, Pink Canyon, and White Domes Road.

Some Useful Tips to Plan Your Trip to Valley of Fire

Now that you’ve figured out the places to visit and the order in which you must visit them, it is better to make some field notes. That said, here are a few tips to help you plan and complete your visit perfectly.

  • The visiting center is only open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but you can access the campgrounds 24 hours a day.
  • You can enjoy the picnic at Atlatl Rock, Seven Sisters, the Cabins, and around the White Domes and Mouse’s Tank Trailhead area. These places also have shaded areas and restrooms.
  • The network is only good in some areas of the park. So, it is better to download the map on your phone or get it printed.
  • Campfires are only allowed at specific places that have grills and fireplaces.
  • If you’re visiting on a pretty hot day, it is better to skip trails. Also, if the temperature is too high, call the visitor center first at 725-666-5425.
  • The speed limit on main roads is 56 kph, 40 kph on side roads, and 8 kph around campgrounds. Patrol Rangers can catch you overspeeding and ask you to pay a fine.
  • You can take your dog to the park, but only the ones below 6 feet in length. Also, you must keep them on a leash.

Considering these tips can surely help you plan your trip well and complete it without facing any issues. Besides that, there are various tourist attraction spots in Chicago where you can visit after Valley of Fire.

Things You Must Carry While Planning the Trip to Valley of Fire

If you’re planning a trip to Valley of Fire, you must carry the essentials, regardless of the season you choose to visit. Below is a list of the essentials you must take with you.

  • Map – As there’s no network in most of the park areas.
  • Water bottles – Regardless of the weather, you must keep yourself hydrated and carry many water bottles. 
  • Hiking boots – If you have hiking and visiting trails in your plans, you must carry or wear good quality hiking boots or shoes.
  • Hat and Sunglasses – Hats and sunglasses are a must to protect you from scorching heat.
  • Sunscreen – Keep sunscreen with you to avoid tanning.
  • A lot of snacks – There are no shops in the park to provide you with food, so pack a lot of them in advance.

Hence, if you have these things with you, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip a bit more. Moreover, if you’re in USA, must visit the Redwood National Park and Seven Magic Mountains which are the perfect tourist attractions in the country.

Places to Stay Near Valley of Fire

If you’re visiting Valley of Fire from Las Vegas and don’t want to camp there, you must find a great place to stay nearby. This option is also preferred by visitors who don’t want to camp there. 

Eureka Casino Resort, Mesquite

So, if you need a place to stay, you can visit Mesquite, a small town nearby that can provide you with all types of accommodation services. Moreover, you can also find some good places between Las Vegas and Zion while returning. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for accommodation near the Valley of Fire, you must reach Overton. It is just 11 miles from the east entrance and offers excellent lodging options.

Is Valley of Fire Safe?

Valley of Fire is pretty safe, as you’ll find patrolling rangers roaming around in the park. However, it is suggested that you not leave any valuables in your car when you leave for hiking. 

Nevada is home to several types of venomous rattlesnakes, and a huge proportion of them are often found in the state park. They are more likely to be active when temperatures are over 20 degrees Celsius. As rattlesnakes are hard to see in a desert, you must keep your ears open for their rattling tails. Be alert, and don’t come anywhere near them if you find any.

Even though the park is safe, the biggest challenge you’ll face there is the heat. Be sure to keep yourself hydrated and always pay attention to the heat warning signs to prepare yourself. 

Wrapping Up – Is Valley of Fire Worth Visiting?

Spending the whole day at Nevada’s oldest state park can be pretty exciting and gives you a chance to explore the wilderness. Valley of Fire is full of breathtaking viewpoints, colorful landscapes, stunning sandstone formations, and much more. In addition, you also get to know a bit about History when you visit the Mouse’s Tank and hike through canyons.

Moreover, the Valley of Fire can be a great escape if you want to spend some time away from the lights and sounds of Las Vegas. So, plan your trip as soon as possible to the state park. Create some memories, and grab a handful of photos to relive the moments again.

Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a reservation for Valley of Fire?

If you’re visiting as a large group, you have to make advance reservations for overnight camping and picnicking. Call Valley of Fire State Park at 702-397-2088 for reservations.

Which is better, Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire?

Both the Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon are great hiking destinations that you can enjoy with your family. The former is known for its slot canyons, scenic hiking trails, and astonishing vistas, and the latter is known for rock scrambling and breathtaking views.

How much time do you need at the Valley of Fire?

If you want to explore the state park fully, you need a whole day. But you can also spend only 3–4 hours if you just want a drive-through and experience one or two trails.

What is the best hike in Valley of Fire State Park?

Visitors often consider Fire Wave to be the best hiking trail in the state park. However, you can make a visit here and decide as per your experience.

Can I get any Valley of Fire tours?

Yes, you can choose from a plethora of day trips to reach the Valley of Fire. Some of them would be – Full Day Tours, Jeep Tours, Private Limousine Coach Tours, and Helicopter Tours.

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