Valley of Fire

Exploring the Valley of Fire near Las Vegas, Nevada

Julie United States 0 Comments

The Valley of Fire is a brilliant, colorful spot located in Nevada, just one hour from Las Vegas. Filled with panoramic vistas, hiking trails, petroglyphs, and stunning red and pink rock formations, the Valley of Fire makes an excellent day trip from Vegas.

What is the Valley of Fire?

The Valley of Fire is a state park located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. Its 46,000 acres are filled with red rock formations made from Aztec sandstone. On a sunny day, these rock formations look like they are on fire, giving the park its name, the Valley of Fire.

Several movies were filmed here, including Total Recall, Viva Las Vegas, The Professionals, and Star Trek Generations.

A visit to the Valley of Fire can last just an hour or two (if you drive through the park, only stopping at scenic overlooks and hiking one or two short trails) or all day, if you choose to explore every nook and cranny of this place.

We spent about four hours here, hiking several of the trails and seeing the main highlights.

Things to do in the Valley of Fire

Here is a map with the main attractions and hiking trails in the park.

Enjoy the Landscapes

Valley of Fire Drive

Driving through the Valley of Fire is the easiest way to enjoy the view. Pink, red, and orange sandstone rocks create amazing vistas that you can see from your car. The main road, Mouse’s Tank Road, curves its way through these rocky formations, creating beautiful views. You don’t even have to get out of your car to enjoy this!

Elephant Rock

Located next to the east entrance, this arch rock formation resembles an elephant, with a little bit of imagination.

The Beehives

These strange looking sandstone formations can be seen in just a few minutes. Get out of your car, take some photos, or climb up to on top of the highest dome for great views over the park.

Beehives Valley of Fire

Beehives View

Tim and Kara VOF

Mouse’s Tank

The hike to Mouse’s Tank is relatively short (only .75 miles round trip), ending at a natural rock basin where water collects after rainfall. This is an easy but unexciting hike and along the way you can spot petroglyphs on the rocks. If you are short on time, I’d skip this hike and save your time for some of the better trails in the park.

Mouses Tank Trail

Petroglyphs Valley of Fire

Rainbow Vista

This hike is more worthwhile. Only 1 mile round trip, this hike ends with a climb up onto a large hill for a panoramic view over the Valley of Fire.

Panoramic View

Tim Valley of Fire

You can continue east on the trail past the panoramic point, but I’d skip this too. The best part of Rainbow Vista is the view from on top of the hill.

Pink Canyon

Pink Canyon, also called Pastel Canyon, is a spot that many people don’t seem to know about. It’s an unmarked spot to visit but it’s one of the prettiest places we saw in the Valley of Fire. Parking is limited to only one or two cars (GPS coordinates: 36°28’47” N 114°31’36” W). From the parking spot, head east into the canyon.

Pink Canyon

Pastel Canyon

Valley of Fire Canyon

It only takes about 10 minutes to walk through this short, shallow canyon, and with its pink scalloped walls it’s a beauty.

The Fire Wave

This is one of the most gorgeous spots in the Valley of Fire. White and red zebra print sandstone creates a great photo opportunity. It’s a 1.5-mile round trip hike out to the Fire Wave.

Fire Wave

Fire Wave Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire Wave

White Domes

This 1.25-mile loop hike was our favorite hike in the park. It’s also the most challenging, with a descent at the beginning and then a climb back up to the parking lot at the end. Even so, it’s not difficult, and it’s a great place to bring kids to let them climb over boulders on the trail and walk through a narrow slot canyon.

White Domes Hike

The Professionals Valley of Fire

Hiking Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire Slot Canyon

Slot Canyon Nevada

Valley of Fire Hiking Trail

The easiest way to do this hike is to go clockwise, starting and ending in the car park. By doing it this way, you walk down the relatively steep, rocky path and later walk up a more gentle incline on a singletrack trail.

Seven Sisters

Located on the Valley of Fire Highway, this is a quick stop to see a cluster of seven sandstone rock formations.

Atlatl Rock

Climb the staircase at Atlatl Rock to see the best display of petroglyphs in the Valley of Fire.

Atlatl Rock

Arch Rock

This large arch in the sandstone can be seen from the Scenic Loop Road near Atlatl Rock.

Arch Rock

Fire Cave

Also located on the Scenic Loop Road is the Fire Cave and Windstone Arch, two more arches that may be worth making the short hike to if photography is your hobby.

Getting Here

The Valley of Fire is located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. It takes roughly one hour to drive here. Most of the drive is on Interstate 15, a wide highway. Once you turn onto the Valley of Fire Highway, it becomes a two-lane road through a desert landscape.

To enter the park, it costs $10 per vehicle, which you will pay at the fee booth before entering. You will be given a map of the park with suggested spots to visit.

For more information, visit the official Valley of Fire website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *