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Valley of Fire, Nevada

Valley of Fire, NevadaBefore Valley of Fire officially became a designated Nevada State Park, a road was built through the valley as part of the Arrowhead Trail to connect Salt Lake City with Los Angeles.

In the 1920s, the “Valley of Fire” was named by an AAA official who was traveling the road at sunset and reportedly explained that the entire region looked as though it was on fire.

Located in the heart of the Mojave Desert, Valley of Fire is about 90 kilometers northeast of Las Vegas via I-15 N and Valley of Fire Highway. Look out for exit 75 marked as Valley of Fire/Lake Mead.

Of all the state and national parks in Nevada, Valley of Fire remains a favored destination for visitors and locals alike, thanks to the dazzling red sandstone rock formations, ancient petroglyphs, and its quick access from the hyper-busy city of Las Vegas.

Those whom wish to discover more about the valley’s history will find an extensive visitor center that features detailed interpretive displays and exhibits of information on local ecology, geology, and prehistory.

And don’t hesitate on taking an enjoyable short stop at Elephant Rock, located next to the east entrance. It’s hard to miss.

Arch Rock, which can be seen from the Scenic Loop near Atlatl Rock; and the Fire Wave, which is probably one of the most beautiful spots in the Valley of Fire with its white and red zebra stripes that offer incredible photo opps for visitors.

Valley of Fire State Park
29450 Valley Of Fire Highway, Overton, Nevada V 89040
(702) 397-2088

Valley of Fire is a Nevada State Park known for its stunning red sandstone rock formations which illuminate the valley - even considerably moreso at sunset - making it appear as though it’s on fire.

There’s no excuse not to visit the beautiful Valley of Fire State park if you’re in Las Vegas. Located just one hour away from the schmooz and scheitz of the gambling city, Las Vegas, the park offers a great way to explore the Mohave desert, enjoy nature, and go home with a collection of stunning photos for your social media.

Nevada’s first state park is a beauty that offers plenty of things to see and do. Come to hike, horse ride, or camp overnight for perfect evening under a blanket of stars in the skies.

Valley of Fire, NevadaAncient petroglyphs were carved into red sandstone rock formations at Valley of Fire State Park - a remnant from the Ancestral Puebloans that lived in and around the modern-day Moapa Valley area over 2,500 years ago.

By the mid-1860s, Mormon missionaries had settled in and around St. Thomas, where they began ranching, farming, and mining in the region.

Amazingly enough, St. Thomas was flooded by the waters of Lake Mead during the Hoover Dam construction project in the early 1930s.

In 1931, a transfer of 8,760 acres of federal land to the state of Nevada began the creation of Valley of Fire State Park.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built the park from 1933 through the early 1940s, making campgrounds, stone cabins, trails, and roads.

The park opened in 1934 and was officially designated Valley of Fire State Park in 1935, becoming Nevada’s first state park.

Located in the Mojave Desert, Valley of Fire State Park is home to 46,000 acres of red Aztec sandstone, formed by shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago, which is blended with gray and tan-colored limestone.

The stunning landscape glows red for miles into the horizon and is particularly beautiful at sunset. With elevations ranging from 1,500 feet to 3,000 feet, there are some popular Valley of Fire hikes.

These are easily accessible to visitors who want to explore Valley of Fire from Las Vegas as a day trip, or for those who are camping in the park.

Valley of Fire, NevadaA wander through Valley of Fire State Park’s numerous trails will take visitors past incredible formations like the White Domes - white sandstone rock formations known for their brilliantly contrasting color to the surrounding red sandstone rock formations.

Visitors can hike the White Domes Trail, which is a loop that shows off the park’s stunning scenery - including desert vistas and reveals the namesake colors of the rock, a slot canyon, caves, and even a historic movie site where the 1966 film The Professionals was filmed.
Distance: 1.1 miles round trip
Difficulty: Beginner

Atlatl Rock Hike is another ultra-accessible and wondrous site in Valley of Fire that features amazing examples of prehistoric petroglyphs. Atlatl is a tool used to launch a spear, and ancient Indians carved symbols of the atlatl in the sandstone located at Atlatl Rock.
Distance: 0.1 miles round trip
Difficulty: Beginner

Mouse’s Tank Hike - If you’re interested in seeing more petroglyphs in the Valley of Fire, don’t miss a hike to Mouse’s Tank, which is a natural rock basin in a canyon where rainwater collects. You can hike from the trailhead to Mouse’s Tank and back and see prehistoric petroglyphs along the trail.
Distance: 0.7 miles round trip
Difficulty: Beginner

Valley of Fire State Park is especially stunning in the early morning and at the afternoon golden hour. Experience these magic moments for yourself by snagging a first-come, first-served campsite (group campsites can be reserved in advance).

Any non-campers in the park before sunrise or after dark are considered trespassers and will be ticketed. Valley of Fire is also Nevada’s most visited state park, so be sure to plan your overnight visit long in advance.

Valley of Fire, NevadaThose who plan ahead can choose from 73 total campsites, including popular ones like Arch Rock campground.

There are also three group camping areas in Valley of Fire State Park that will accommodate up to 45 people, and RV camping is an option, too.
Whether you’re coming from across the country, across the world, or just driving up to Valley of Fire from Las Vegas for the day, the park is accessible for everyone.

Shady picnic spots with nearby restrooms can be found at Atlatl Rock, Seven Sisters, White Dome, and the Cabins, which are historic stone structures built with native sandstone in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

As you hike along the trails, pay close attention to the Valley of Fire’s plants and flowers. Cacti like beavertail and cholla are plentiful and adorn the desert floor along with creosote bush, burro bush, and brittlebush.

Spring is one of the most beautiful times of year to visit because desert marigolds, indigo bush, and desert mallow bloom cast their beauty into the Valley of Fire State Park and permeate the air with the subtle smell of desert flowers.

Because of the area’s warm summer temperatures and its rock and desert topography, most of the animals that live in and around Valley of Fire are nocturnal.

Snakes, lizards, coyotes, bobcats, badgers, fox, jackrabbits, skunks, and antelope ground squirrels all reside in Valley of Fire State Park.

It’s rare to see a desert tortoise, as they burrow underground for protection from the sun and cold. If you’re lucky, you’ll see Nevada’s state animal, the Desert Bighorn Sheep!

While winter temperatures range from freezing to 75 degrees, Valley of Fire State Park weather over the summer often has highs exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The landscape offers little shade, so plan your hikes ahead and pack your hat and sunscreen. Summer temperatures may vary from hot during the day to cool at night, so check the forecast and be prepared for the degree range. The annual rainfall averages four inches.

The best time to visit the park is between October and April when the temperatures are cooler. If you can’t avoid the summer season, get your hikes in early morning or later in the day.

Valley of Fire, NevadaSouthern Nevada visitors will find Valley of Fire State Park about 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas and about 20 minutes from Lake Mead via I-15 and State Route 169.

Once in the park, visitors will have no trouble navigating because there’s only one main road (the Valley of Fire Road). The road is also called the Valley of Fire Scenic Byway, and at just under 11 miles, it connects both the east and west entrances of Valley of Fire State Park.

In between Las Vegas and Lake Mead lies the Valley of Fire, an impressive canvas of wind-sculpted red sandstone that transforms with each slight movement of the sun.

Travel northeast from Las Vegas on I-15 about 30 minutes to the Valley of Fire interchange (exit 75), then south and east to the park boundary.

Although the state byway totals eight miles (the distance from the park entrance to SR 169) the surrounding Valley of Fire State Park is Nevada’s largest and oldest state park.

Suggested driving times are fall through spring; be cautious of the severe desert heat in the summer. Mimicking the dance of a flame, the rocks change from benign oranges and browns to deeper, more dramatic shades, while the sun and it’s shadows seem to mold the rocks into new shapes.

Just after sunset and just after sunrise, when the rocks are particularly luminous, are the best times to see how the park got its name. The rock formations rise from the desert floor, fluctuating from ground level to 499 feet high.

Valley of Fire State Park Scenic Byway will take travelers past geologic marvels such as Arch Rock, Piano Rock and Rainbow Vista. Rainbow Vista - a favorite with photographers for the panoramic view of multicolored sandstone.

Valley of Fire, NevadaValley of Fire Road runs east to west, intersecting with White Domes Road which runs north and south, White Domes Road earns its name from the impressive white, rounded rocks that create a striking contrast to the surrounding red ones.

Just off White Domes Road is Silica Domes Road, with an overlook to yet another impressive rock formation. Valley of Fire has campgrounds, picnic sites and numerous hiking trails.

The largest visitors center in all of Nevada’s state parks, the Valley of Fire Visitors Center offers interpretive information of the area’s natural history, geology, plants, and wildlife, as well as information about how Indian tribes survived in such a harsh environments.

Hours: Valley of Fire State Park is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. While there is 24-hour access to the campgrounds, if you are within park boundaries before sunrise or after sunset and are not an overnight camper, it’s considered trespassing and you can be ticketed.

Admission: Entry to Valley of Fire State Park is $15 per vehicle ($10 for NV vehicles), per day. Overnight camping is $25 per night ($20 for NV vehicles), with an additional $10 for sites with utility hookups

Valley of Fire Camping: There are two campgrounds with a combined total of 72 spaces. Campsites are equipped with shaded tables, grills, potable water and restrooms.

A dump station and showers are also available. All campsites are first-come, first-serve. A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced.

Valley of Fire, NevadaRV Camping: RV sites with power and water hookups are available. Group-Use Campsites: There are three group-use campsites, each accommodating up to 45 people; there is no minimum person count.

These sites are available for overnight camping by reservation only. Group-use reservations are accepted beginning on the first Wednesday of November at 9am for the coming year.

Reservations can be made Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm by telephone at 702-397-2088. From the main menu, press “3” for group-use information, and then “1” to check availability or make a reservation.

The park does not accept reservations by email, fax, US mail, or in person. A reservation fee of $25/site/night must be paid at the time of booking.

Camping and day-use fees of $20/vehicle/night for Nevada residents, or $25/vehicle/night for non-Nevada residents, must be paid upon arrival.

Picnicking/Day Use: Shaded areas with restrooms are located at Atlatl Rock, Seven Sisters, the Cabins, near Mouse's Tank Trailhead and White Domes.

Hiking: Many intriguing hikes are available to visitors. Inquire at the Visitor Center for suggestions on day hikes of varying length and terrain.

Visitor Information: The Visitor Center provides exhibits on the geology, ecology, prehistory and history of the park and the nearby region.

It is strongly recommended that each visitor make this an early stop after entering the park.

Valley of Fire, NevadaPostcards, books and souvenirs are on sale for your convenience. The visitor center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The rest of the park closes at sunset.

Regional Information: For more information on the surrounding areas, visit the Moapa Valley Chamber of Commerce or the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce.

Programs: Information about program scheduling may be obtained from either park staff or kiosks. Upon request, special presentations can be arranged for groups.

Wifi Access: Wifi is currently available at the park. Hours: Open seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Drive only on approved routes of travel and park only in designated places along the roadside shoulders. Motor vehicles are not allowed on trails.

Please note that taking Uber/Lyft ride sharing services can result in being stranded in the park, as it is often not possible to get a return ride from the park.

Camp only in designated campground sites. Fires are permitted only in designated grills and fireplaces.

Removing, disturbing or damaging any historic structure, artifact, rock, plant life, fossil or other feature is prohibited. State and federal laws protect this area and its resources.

Pets are welcome, but they must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet in length. Pets are not allowed in the Visitor Center.

All artifacts and other signs of early civilization and recent history are protected by state and federal law. Please conserve water and use the trash containers provided.

Valley of Fire, NevadaThe park is open from sunrise to sunset unless camping in campgrounds or a group camping area. After sunset, activity is limited to those areas.

Rock climbing is limited to specific areas in the park. Inquire at the Visitor Center. The use of drones or any remote controlled aircraft is not allowed.

Visitors are responsible for knowing all park rules and regulations in effect. Detailed rules and regulations are posted at the park or may be obtained from any Park Ranger.

Those with developmental and/or physical limitations are invited to enjoy all of the recreational activities of Nevada State Parks. If you would like to request additional support or accommodations, please call the Nevada State Parks division office.

We continually seek ways to provide recreational opportunities for people of all abilities and welcome any suggestions you may have.

The areas plant community is dominated by widely spaced creosote bush, burro bush and brittlebush. Several cactus species, including beaver tail and cholla, are also common.

The springtime bloom of such plants as the desert marigold, indigo bush, and desert mallow are often spectacular along the parks roads.

Valley of Fire consists of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops nestled in gray and tan limestone mountains. The sandstone is from the Jurassic period and is the remnant of the sand left behind by the wind after inland seas subsided and the land rose.

Early man moved into southern Nevada as far back as 11,000 years ago. The most obvious evidence of occupation is the petroglyphs carved into the rocks by the Basketmaker culture about 2,500 years ago, followed later by the Early Pueblo culture.

Valley of Fire, NevadaPaiutes were living in this area in 1865 when Mormons settled at nearby St. Thomas at the south end of the Moapa Valley. Farming, ranching and mining occurred in the region along a narrow stretch of water.

Renting a car is a great option if you plan on combining more than one park into one (Red Rock Canyon Park is not that far away) or if you want to hike and explore at your own pace, stopping for photo opportunities or even for a meal on your way back to the city.

If you’d rather leave the driving to others, a guided tour from Las Vegas offers all the convenience and little of the trouble.

Round-trip transfers are usually available from your hotel or major points on the Strip, and tours also offer extras like lunch and additional spots at famous scenic points.

Both private and small-group tours are available so you can pick the experience that would work better for you.

The beauty of exploring Valley of Fire State Park by organized tour is that you are not limited to one specific adventure. For example, you can choose a tour that combines Valley of Fire with Red Rock Canyon so you can see two wonderful sites in one day.

Or you can choose to go to Seven Magic Mountains instead so you can soak the natural beauty and an art installation in one trip.

There are tours which will take you to see 4,000 year-old petroglyphs, to meander the valley as the ancient Anasazi natives did, or you can stop by the Lost City Museum to see ancient art and artifacts.

So, no matter what type of terrain you are looking for on given day all levels of difficulty are available if you’re up for a day in the great outdoors.

Both the Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon are geat hiking locations close to Las Vegas. The Valley of Fire, with its shorter yet incredibly scenic hiking trails, and breathtaking vistas is extremely popular with many visitors, but others argue that Red Rock Canyon is more captivating, with all the rock scrambling and its epic views of Las Vegas. Both are incredible, so you won’t be disappointed when choosing one or the other.


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