Julie United States 65 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.

Best Things to do in the Valley of Fire

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

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

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.

Elephant Rock


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.

While in the Valley of Fire, please practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace: plan ahead, stay on the trail, pack out what you bring to the hiking trail, properly dispose of waste, leave areas as you found them, minimize campfire impacts, be considerate of other hikers, and do not approach or feed wildlife.

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.

Fire Cave

Also located on the Scenic Loop Road is the Fire Cave, also called Windstone Arch, another arch that may be worth making the short hike to if you like caves and getting a bit off-the-beaten-path.

Windstone Arch

Edwin Verin/shutterstock.com

Top 5 Favorite Experiences

If you are short on time and want to see the best of the Valley of Fire, here are our five favorite spots:

  • Fire Wave: This 1.5 mile hike takes you out to one of the most photogenic parts of the Valley of Fire.
  • Mouse’s Tank Road: The main road through the park. There’s an amazing view around every turn.
  • Pink Canyon (Pastel Canyon): A short but very pretty walk through a pastel pink slot canyon.
  • The Beehives:  Scramble up to the top of the Beehives for a panoramic view over the Valley of Fire.
  • White Domes Hike:  Another short hike that’s fun for all ages. 

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.

If you don’t have plans to rent a car during your visit, there are numerous day trip tours to choose from, like this private tour from Las Vegas or this guide hiking tour from Las Vegas.

Important Information about the Valley of Fire

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. Beginning April 1, 2021, there will be an additional $5 fee for out of state vehicles.

If you plan to camp at the Valley of Fire, the cost is $20 per night.

The Valley of Fire is open year round from sunrise to sunset. The visitor center is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. 

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

Tours of the Valley of Fire


Do you have plans to visit the Valley of Fire? If you have any questions or suggestions, comment below!

More Information for Your Trip to Las Vegas:

Are you planning a trip through the United States? Read all of our articles about the USA in our United States Travel Guide.

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Comments 65

    1. Post

      Yes, it is a very pretty drive through the park, especially through Mouse’s Tank. The main thing that you will miss is the Fire Wave, since you can only see this from the hiking trail. Cheers, Julie

  1. How do I find the fire cave/windstone arch in valley of fire?
    We will be going in October after we hit Utah’s big5 using your info!

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  2. Valley of Fire is absolutely worth visiting. Park fees are CASH ONLY so keep that in mind ($15 for non-residents). Also all the main stops are clearly labelled so you can easily navigate your way through this park. Absolutely my most memorable experience in Vegas and about one hour from the strip.

    Ending this review with a HUGE THANK YOU! I’ve been hiking across Nevada & Arizona this past week and this website has been my absolute go-to for EVERYTHING.

    1. Post

      Awesome! Thanks for writing in!! I hope you have a great time wherever you are traveling to next. Cheers, Julie

  3. Thank you for your information. We don’t dare to drive on Mouse Tank Road because we are afraid. Is there a shuttle to drive people up there?

    1. Post

      I don’t believe that there is a shuttle. Mouse Tank Road is not a hard or dangerous road to drive, in my opinion. There are some curves here and there but nothing too challenging. I recommend at least starting the drive down it…you might be pleasantly surprised…and if it is too much, then turn around. Cheers, Julie

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  4. Hi Julie, my boyfriend and I are planning to visit Valley of fire this March and I love how detailed your blog is!! I am very glad I found it, should we follow your guide as how its listed from Elephant Rock to fire cave being the last?
    Thank you!

    1. Post

      Hello Renee. I’m glad you found us too! You ask a great question. The places to visit are not listed in any particular order in this post. However, you can download the map in this post onto your phone…this has the sights to visit labelled throughout the park. I recommend doing the sights along Mouse’s Tank Road first (this is where you will find the top spots). Then, if you still have energy, visit Elephant Rock and the sights along Campground Road. Cheers, Julie

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  5. I just visited the Valley of Fire and used your guide, it was perfect. The pink Canyon was a highlight. There were very few people and it is so unique with the orange and pink canyon walls. I will definitely be using your website for our future trips. Thanks!

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  6. Thanks for the tip on the Pink Canyon. You were right: it wasn’t on the map. We asked the person at the entrance of the park for directions because we were having trouble putting the coordinates into our map app at first. She told us they are not supposed to tell us how to find it but pointed us in the general direction. Then we found that Waze has it and went. Very cool!

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  7. NV167 is an excellent route to Valley of Fire. Please know that you will need to pay an NPS fee if you don’t have an interagency pass.

  8. Do you know if NV167 along Lake Mead Recreation Area is a good alternative to get to Valley of Fire? According to Google, it is 30 minutes longer drive than I-15 and distance is about the same.

    1. Post

      We have not driven that road. We went the direct way from Las Vegas (Rt. 15 to the Valley of Fire Highway). If you want, you can check out NV167 on Google street view to get a better look at the road (to see if there are any nice views). Cheers, Julie

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