Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire is Nevada’s first state park, founded in 1935 to preserve vibrant red sandstone landscapes and other colorful formations in Southeastern Nevada. The park covers approximately 42,000 acres in the desert northeast of Las Vegas near Lake Mead. Valley of Fire State Park is just one hour’s drive from the Las Vegas Strip.
Inside Valley of Fire State Park, visitors can camp between fiery rock formations and explore exciting short hiking trails. One special destination is the Fire Wave, which has orange and white striped rocks that beg to be photographed. White Domes Trail goes through a dynamic landscape, with fascinating formations around every turn, as well as an old film set. Petroglyph Canyon Trail puts the park’s human history on display, showing hikers an abundance of Native America rock art. As if that weren’t enough, the park has natural arches like Elephant Rock as well as petrified logs.
The amazing red sandstone in Valley of Fire State Park took a long time to create. The process started 250 million years ago when an ocean that covered this area retreated and disappeared. Red sands deposited and compacted into sandstone and the sea became a plain. Geologic faults and erosion contorted the landscape to what it is today.
Valley of Fire State Park has a $10 entrance fee per vehicle ($8 for Nevada residents). The fee is $2 when entering on a bike (all prices as of March, 2016). An additional fee is charged to stay at the campgrounds.
Valley of Fire Highway (Valley of Fire Road) travels through the park from west the east between the park’s two entrances. The west entrance gets the most traffic and motorists may have to wait in line to enter the park. White Domes Road passes many natural wonders and is one of the Scenic Drives in Valley of Fire State Park.
Hikes in Valley of Fire State Park
Explore short to moderate hikes in Valley of Fire State Park. The trails below are listed from north to south and can also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, maps, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these trails.
|170||Fire Wave Trail|
This hike leads to a sensational striped creation where a slickrock depression is painted in waves of orange and beige.
This short loop is impressive from start to finish as it explores colorful, intricate rock formations, passes and old film set, and slips through a narrow slot canyon.
This hike goes through sandstone formations to summit a short crest with 360-degree views over multi-colored landscapes and the hike can be extended down to Fire Canyon Overlook.
|0.7 - 1.5 miles|
60 - 150 feet
|190||Petroglyph Canyon Trail to Mouse's Tank|
This out and back hike travels past an enormous amount of petroglyphs to a natural basin formed in the sandstone.
This brief hike, which begins next to the Valley of Fire State Park Visitor Center, approaches a rock formation that appears to stand with a bit of magic.
This short hike at the east entrance of Valley of Fire State Park leads to a sandstone formation resembling an elephant with a unique natural arch for a trunk.
Step right up a flight of stairs to a platform in front of a group of petroglyphs on the side of a boulder.
|230||Petrified Logs Loop|
This short hike gets close to petrified logs on the desert floor passing panels that explain how wood is petrified.