Valley of Fire State Park Travel Guide
sometimes the drive is better than the...
sometimes the drive is better than the...
back in the am for good measure
truly a rainbow of colors
a fun climb to boot
glowing nicely, early evening
Summer temperatures well over 100 degrees F
In a nutshell
worth the drive from Las Vegas
Your first stop should be the visitor's center. They have a very good display and explanation of history in the park. Something I did not know was that Valley of Fire was Nevada's first state park.At the visitor center there is a very good book and gift shop. You can also...
After visiting Atlatl rock, continue driving around towards the Arch Rock Campground. On the left this is Arch Rock. There is no real parking area to view the arch, just a few pull offs so be careful if you get out to take a picture.
Some of the best petroglyphs in the park are found at Atlatl rock. Interestingly, the name is from and ancient piece of wood that was used to throw darts for hunting. There is a steep walk up some stairs but it is right from the parking area. Also, there is protective...
This is a short little trail just off the Valley of Fire Highway, near the west entrance station. A very easy walk with a few "logs" visible. The logs have a protective fence around them but easily seen. If you've never seen petrified wood before its a nice walk to check...
This is a very easy hike right next to the visitor center. The trail maker states it is .5 miles. No way. More like .3 miles round trip. Very easy. Be sure to walk past the spire and turn around. You will get a much better sense of how the rock in balancing.
Hiking in the Valley of Fire
You could spend weeks out here, there is so much to see! I would recommend going October-April, when temperatures are cooler because it can be unbearably hot in the summer (40-50ºC) and bring lots of water. You can drive the roads through the park and stop and get out where...
The last stop along the main road. This is another of the iconic formations of the park. There is no parking right by the rock, and stopping here is a bad idea (it's near the crest of a hill.) So, you need to park at the East entrance station, and hike back to the rock....
You reach the Cabins by following yet another short spur road off to the north. At the end of the road, there are a set of historic stone cabins built with the native sandstone of the park by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's in order to provide shelter for...
Seven sisters really doesn't hold a candle to many of the other areas I saw in the park. You can pull off the road to see these large formations, and if you walk around the backside, you are treated to a expansive desert vista. Between the formations of Seven Sisters, there...
Right outside the visitor center lies another one of the famous formations that you'll find in the park. Valley of Fire seems to have a little of everything - arches, painted rocks, petrified wood, and balanced rocks. From the visitor center, you can take a very short hike...
Valley of Fire State Park is only 55 miles from Las Vegas so you can certainly do it as a day trip but don't short change this great little park. It's not that you need a lot of time to explore but the best times to do it are early morning and evening. If you do a tour,...
Visitor Center gift shop: Essential map
While visiting the gift shop in the visitor center, I found a fold out map and also a book. The map is "Franko Maps Valley of Fire State Park Adventure Guide." The book is "Valley of Fire map and trail guide" put out by the state park service. Sold separately, the offers a...
let's ditch the uniforms
The Valley of Fire does warrant all the desert precautions of other nearby parks. It's best to wear light-colored long-sleeve shirts and pants, a wide brimmed hat, and splash on plenty of sunscreen. Of course, drink plenty of water and consume salty snacks to keep mineral levels up. But it is so close to Vegas that on our second day, we headed out in shorts ready to not only see a bit of the park before it got too hot, but to head to Sin City ourselves. This was no time for our uniforms. It was time for civilization for us after sixty straight days in a tent in the deserts of the American Southwest.
Updated Sep 2, 2009
- Related to:
- Budget Travel
- National/State Park
- Road Trip
No supplies in park
Bring all food and water, trash recepticles on site at rest areas. Great spots for picnics.
Comfortable shoes, always bring a sweatshirt or the like, it can get cold.
tripod, extra batteries, extra film -digital or analog.extra wide angle and tele lenses will be...
Not seen from the end of the Mouse's Tank trail is a small arch. At the end of the trail there is a sign directing people to the very end, by 20 feet and the Tanks. However, if you venture straight past the sign about 30 feet and scale up on the right to what appears to be a...
the beauty of no set plan
Lake Mead is probably less off the beaten path than Valley of Fire but we only passed through here en route. We actually had planned on camping here and going to the Valley early in the morning, envisioning a cool breeze off a big lake from our tent. But when we arrived, it...
Rainbow Vista Trail
This is the second trail head you come to on the right when driving on Mouse's Tank rd. There is no shaded picnic area here but they do have a picnic table at the trail. There is also a pit toilet. When looking at the map, the trail looks like there is an additional loop at...
Mouse's Tank Trail
This trail head is off of Mouse's Tank rd. It is the first trail and picnic area after the visitor center on the right. This is an easy trial with soft deep sand at the beginning and a little rocky at some points. It is also referred to as Petroglyph Canyon on some maps...
with sun ready to make a bold appearance
I woke up hours later, freezing. My wife lay warm in her bag, all huddled up. She had the sense to get in hers despite it being hot. I had laid in vain trying like a lizard to regulate my body temperature. One thing about the desert, no matter how hot it is during the day,...
don't miss camping at Valley of Fire
Even if you don't like camping and have to use an RV, this is one campground not to be missed. Not only will you see the park in its best light (early morning/evening) but you'll enjoy the scenery right from your "front yard."
The only reason I wasn't laying in a pool of...
Explore Deeper into Valley of Fire State Park