ROAD TRIP,  UNITED-STATES

Valley of Fire: the complete guide

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Valley of Fire is a state park located about an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, in southeastern Nevada. It is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park. The park features spectacular landscapes of red rock sculpted by erosion. Its canyons and geological formations offer a palette of colors ranging from red to yellow, pink and orange, creating an intense visual spectacle. It’s a must-see if you’re in search of breathtaking desert scenery, and want to escape the madness of Las Vegas for a day. In fact, this park was one of my favorites on my road-trip through the Western United States!

In this article, I’ll give you all the information you need to visit Valley of Fire. You’ll need half a day to visit it, or a full day if you’re hiking.

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What to see and do when you visit the heart of Valley of Fire?

Practical information

  • Park entrance: Valley of Fire has two main entrances. Here’s how to get there:

    West entrance: whether you’re coming from the south (Las Vegas) or the north (Salt Lake City), take exit #75, which leads directly onto the Valley of Fire Highway.


    East entrance: there are two ways to get here:
    #From the north, take exit #93 off I15, then south on NV167.
    #From the south, take NV167 (Northshore Road), accessible from Las Vegas via NV147 (Lake Mead Boulevard).

    The park can also be accessed via Moapa Valley from St George. Just take Route 15, then NV169.


    The park is open from sunrise to sunset. Check the opening times according to your travel dates.
  • Price: $10/vehicle, $5/motorcycle.
    The America the Beautiful Pass (also known as the Interagency Annual Pass) IS NOT ACCEPTED.
  • Note: the best times to visit the Valley of Fire are spring and autumn, when temperatures fluctuate between 21 and 26°C. In summer, temperatures can reach 45°C in the shade, which can make hiking uncomfortable or even dangerous. I recommend planning your hikes early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the afternoon heat. And of course, don’t forget to take plenty of water and sun cream to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Camping: there’s only one campground in the park, Atlatl Rock Campground, located on Loop Road to the south, with 72 sites on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are possible, however, by telephone only.

Main Road and Scenic Drive

It’s not difficult to find your way around the Valley of Fire. There are 2 main roads:
– the Main Road, which crosses the park from west to east. From this road you can take the Loop Road, which is a short loop.
Scenic Drive, which starts at the Visitor Center parking lot. Scenic Drive is the gateway to the park’s main hikes.

Valley of fire

1 | Driving on the Main Road and Loop Road

Beehives

Seven Sisters

Elephant Rock

Valley of fire

2 | Scenic Drive

Scenic Drive is an 5 miles scenic route through the heart of the park, providing access to many points of interest.
It offers spectacular views of desert landscapes and colorful rock formations. You’ll want to stop….very often! This park is hyper-photogenic. The color of the rock is impressive.

Mouse’s Tank Road Viewpoint

Fire Canyon Road

Points of interest on the road

Valley of fire
Valley of fire

3 | Hiking

The park offers a variety of hikes for all levels. Unfortunately, because of the heat, we didn’t do any. Weather permitting, I recommend you do at least one! Here are some of the most popular hikes:

FIRE WAVE

(1.5 miles round trip | 1 hour | Easy)

Important information: hike closed from June 1 to October 31 due to high temperatures.
Access: when you leave the parking lot, after the short descent, take the path to the right.
Fire Wave is the hike to the famous natural wave: a magnificent zebra rock. It’s the park’s most popular hike, and it’s not surprising when you consider what nature is capable of creating!

Valley of fire
Fire Wave – source : Pinterest

PINK CANYON

(1.9 miles round trip | 1h30 | Easy)
Access: this hike can be combined with the Fire Wave. Once you’ve reached Fire Wave, you’ll have to continue westwards for 650 yards into the canyon. It’s quite short and you’ll soon reach the road. You could drive into the canyon from this point, but there’s no parking available.
Pink Canyon is quite simply a superb canyon in pastel colors.

Valley of fire
Pink Canyon – source : Pinterest

WHITE DOMES

(1.8 miles – loop itinerary | 1h30 | Facile)
Access: from the White Domes parking lot, at the end of Scenic Drive. From here, a signposted trail loops between the rocks. The trail passes through a slot canyon for 440 yards. At the end of the canyon, keep to the right and head north, reaching an arch. You’ll then come back to the road and the parking lot.

Valley of fire
White Domes – source : Pinterest

Below, a map of Valley of Fire with the different hikes on offer.

Valley of fire

Thanks for reading!

Mylène

My most beautiful photos are on Instagram

Follow me on my adventures around the world

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