10 Best Attractions and Stays in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Nestled in the Mojave Desert of southern Nevada, Valley of Fire State Park is a breathtakingly beautiful and otherworldly destination in the USA that boasts stunning natural scenery, ancient petroglyphs, and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities. The park is the largest and oldest in Nevada, spans more than 40,000 acres, and is known for its fiery red sandstone formations, which have been shaped over millions of years by wind and water erosion. You can hike, camp, picnic, and explore the park’s many attractions, making it a popular but hidden vacation destination for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and photographers.

White Domes Trail landscape at valley of fire Nevada

Top 10 attractions in Valley of Fire

Here are the best places to visit in Valley of Fire during your next vacation in Nevada.

Fire Wave Trail

This popular hiking trail takes you on a 1.5-mile journey with an elevation of 72m through a landscape of colorful sandstone formations. The trail leads to a unique geological formation known as the Fire Wave, which features undulating stripes of red, pink, and white sandstone that resemble a fiery ocean wave.

The trail is considered easy to moderate and takes about 45-60 minutes to complete. Along the way, hikers can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valley and appreciate the unique geological formations shaped by millions of years of erosion by wind and water. The Fire Wave Trail is a must-visit for nature lovers and photographers seeking stunning natural scenery.

The Beehives

The Beehives are a series of cone-shaped sandstone formations that resemble beehives. You can hike to the top of these formations for sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. The hike to The Beehives is considered moderate and takes about 1-2 hours to complete the round trip.

Mouse’s Tank Trail

This is easy and most popular, 0.75-mile hike takes you to Mouse’s Tank, a natural basin that holds water year-round. The basin is named after a Southern Paiute Indian named Mouse who used the basin as a hideout in the 1890s. Along the way, hikers can also see ancient petroglyphs created by the Anasazi people more than 2,000 years ago. The trail is considered easy and takes about 30-45 minutes to complete.

White Domes Trail

This scenic trail takes you on a 1.25-mile hike through a canyon that is surrounded by towering sandstone formations. The trail passes through a series of slot canyons and ends at the White Domes, a group of white sandstone formations that are especially beautiful at sunset. The contrast of the white sandstone against the fiery red rocks of Valley of Fire makes for a breathtaking and memorable hike. Hikers can also explore the remains of an old movie set from the 1960s and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valley. The trail is considered moderate and takes about 1-2 hours to complete.

Atlatl Rock

Atlatl Rock is a single, large sandstone and home to a collection of ancient petroglyphs or rock carvings that were created by the Anasazi people more than 2,000 years ago. You can climb a staircase to view the petroglyphs up close. The attraction is easily accessible by car and is located near other popular sights, including the Fire Canyon and Mouse’s Tank Trail.

Elephant Rock

Located near the east entrance of Valley of Fire and close to the road, Elephant Rock is a massive sandstone formation that resembles an elephant with its trunk raised. You can hike to the top of the formation for panoramic park views.

Rainbow Vista Trail

This scenic trail takes you on a 1.5-mile hike through a landscape of multicolored sandstone formations. The trail ends at Rainbow Vista, a viewpoint that offers stunning views of the surrounding valley and mountains. The trail is considered easy to moderate and takes about 45-60 minutes to complete.

Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters rocks formation at valley of fire Nevada

The Seven Sisters are a group of seven towering sandstone formations that are especially beautiful at sunset. You can hike to the top of these formations for panoramic park views. The Seven Sisters are easily accessible by car and are located near other popular sights, including the White Domes Trail and the Fire Wave Trail.

Arch Rock

Arch Rock at valley of fire state park in Nevada

Arch Rock is very popular and a natural arch that was formed by wind and water erosion. You can explore the area by taking a short hike to the arch, where you can take memorable photos and appreciate the stunning natural beauty of the site.

Petroglyph Canyon Trail

This easy, 0.25-mile hike takes you through a canyon that is home to a collection of ancient petroglyphs. The petroglyphs were created by the Anasazi people more than 2,000 years ago and depict various animals, people, and symbols. Petroglyph Canyon Trail is considered easy to moderate and takes about 1-2 hours to complete.

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Top 5 stays in Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada offers different kinds of stays with various amenities according to your choice and budget in and around the park. Here are some of the Best Accommodations in Valley of Fire State Park, you may consider.

Atlatl Rock Campground

Atlatl Rock Campground is located in the heart of Valley of Fire State Park and offers primitive campsites for tents and RVs with basic amenities, including restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and fire pits. The campground features stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is a popular choice for visitors seeking a rustic and immersive experience.

The campsites are spacious and offer plenty of privacy, making them ideal for families and groups. The campground is also located near popular hiking trails, including the Petroglyph Canyon Trail and the Fire Wave Trail.

Cabins at Valley of Fire

Cabins at Valley of Fire offer a unique lodging experience within the park. The cabins are fully furnished and offer modern amenities, including air conditioning and heating. Each cabin features a kitchenette, a bathroom, and a patio area. They are perfect for visitors seeking a comfortable and convenient stay within the park.

Moapa Valley RV Resort

Moapa Valley RV Resort is located just outside Valley of Fire State Park and offers RV sites, cabins, and tent sites. The resort features a swimming pool, hot tub, and clubhouse, making it a great option for families and groups.

Overton Motel

Overton Motel is located just outside the Valley of Fire State Park in the nearby town of Overton and offers comfortable and affordable rooms. This motel is a great option for visitors seeking a budget-friendly stay near the park.

North Shore Inn

North Shore Inn is located in the nearby town of Overton near Lake Mead National Recreation Area and offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities. An inn is an excellent option for visitors seeking a comfortable and convenient stay outside the park.

Best restaurants in Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada has a few picnic areas where you can enjoy a meal surrounded by the park’s natural beauty. Some popular picnic areas in the park include Atlatl Rock, Seven Sisters, and White Domes. You can bring your food and drinks or purchase them from the park’s Visitor Center, which offers a small selection of snacks and beverages.

However, there are no full-service restaurants or cafes within the park. If you’re looking for a sit-down restaurant meal, you may want to consider dining in nearby towns such as Overton or Mesquite, which offer various dining options. Some popular choices in such towns may include Los Lupes Mexican Restaurant, Tony’s Pizza, and River Cafe at Virgin River Hotel and Casino. It’s always a good idea to read reviews and check for updated information on operating hours and availability before visiting any restaurant.

Activities to do in Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada offers a wide range of outdoor activities for you to enjoy according to your interest.

Hiking

The park has a variety of hiking trails for visitors of all skill levels. Some popular trails include Mouse’s Tank Trail, White Domes Trail, and Fire Wave Trail. Hiking is the most enjoyed and popular activity in this area. Keep in mind that the weather in summer is extreme here. So start hiking early in the morning and keep water and other necessary things with you to avoid unnecessary events.

Scenic Drives

Valley of Fire features a scenic 11-mile drive that takes you past many of the park’s most iconic landmarks, including Elephant Rock, Arch Rock, and Rainbow Vista.

Camping

The park has two campgrounds, Atlatl Rock and Arch Rock, that offer campsites for tents and RVs.

Atlatl Rock Campground has 44 campsites and is located near Atlatl Rock. The campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can accommodate tents and RVs up to 35 feet in length.

Arch Rock Campground has 29 campsites and is located near the park’s Visitor Center. The campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can accommodate tents and RVs up to 28 feet in length.

Both campgrounds have restrooms, showers, and water available. It has also picnic tables, fire pits, and grills at each campsite, as well as access to hiking trails and scenic drives. Visitors are advised to bring their firewood, as it is not available for purchase in the park. Additionally, visitors are reminded to practice Leave No Trace principles and to pack out all trash and waste.

Photography

Valley of Fire’s unique red rock formations and stunning landscapes provide a beautiful backdrop for photography enthusiasts. The best time to visit the Valley of Fire for photography is during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset when the light is soft and warm. The park’s red rocks can appear even more vibrant after a rainstorm, so keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan your photography accordingly.

Rock Climbing

The park has several routes for rock climbing enthusiasts. Rock climbing is also one of the most popular activities here to enjoy but with all permissions, precautions, and guidelines.

Wildlife Watching

Visitors to the park may spot a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, lizards, and a variety of birds.

Cultural Sites

The park features several cultural sites, including Atlatl Rock, which has petroglyphs that are thousands of years old. History lovers can go deep into it.

Stargazing

The park’s remote location and dark skies make it an ideal spot for stargazing. Spend the night camping here and enjoy the open sky.

Valley of Fire wedding venues

Valley of Fire State Park offers a stunning backdrop for a unique and memorable wedding. Seven Sisters, White Domes, Rainbow Vista, Elephant Rock, and Atlatl Rock are some of the top wedding venues in the park. All these wedding venues have different capacities of people to accommodate. So plan your wedding destination in Valley of Fire accordingly.

It’s important to note that wedding ceremonies in Valley of Fire State Park require a special use permit and must be approved by the park in advance. Additionally, there are restrictions on decorations, music, and other aspects of the ceremony to protect the natural environment of the park.

Don’t do this in Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada is a unique and beautiful destination that offers you a chance to experience the natural wonders of the American Southwest. While the park is a must-visit destination, there are some things that you should avoid doing to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some things to avoid in Valley of Fire.

Climbing on the rocks

Climbing on the park’s rock formations is prohibited, as it can damage the delicate desert environment and potentially cause harm to you. So keep utmost precautions to be safe.

Removing or disturbing rocks or artifacts

Removing rocks or artifacts from the park is strictly prohibited and can result in fines and criminal charges.

Littering

You are reminded to pack out all trash and waste to protect the park’s fragile ecosystem and wildlife.

Starting fires outside of designated areas

Fires are only allowed in designated fire pits or grills in the park’s campgrounds and picnic areas. Starting fires elsewhere can be dangerous and damage the park’s natural resources.

Not bringing enough water

The park’s desert climate is hot and dry, so you should bring plenty of water to stay hydrated while hiking or exploring the park.

Going off-trail

You are advised to stick to designated trails and roads to avoid getting lost or causing damage to the park’s fragile ecosystem.

How to reach Valley of Fire

The Park is located in the Mojave Desert, about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. Here are some ways to reach Valley of Fire.

By car

The most common and convenient way to reach the park is by car. You can take Interstate 15 North from Las Vegas and exit at either the Valley of Fire/Lake Mead exit (exit 75) or the Moapa Valley exit (exit 90) and follow the signs to the park.

By tour

You can also reach the park by taking a guided tour from Las Vegas. Many tour companies offer guided day trips to Valley of Fire, which can include transportation and a knowledgeable guide. You can plan for Valley of Fire day trips from Las Vegas.

By air

The nearest airport is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, which offers domestic and international flights. From there, you can rent a car or take a tour to reach the park.

By RV or camper

The park has a campground with RV hookups, so you can also reach the park by driving your RV or camper.

It’s important to note that the park is located in a remote area with limited cell phone service and no gas stations, so you should plan and come prepared with plenty of water, food, and gas.

FAQs about Valley of Fire

  1. What is Valley of Fire State Park?

    Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and nature preservation area located in the Mojave Desert, about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. It is known for its stunning red rock formations, petroglyphs, hiking trails, and camping facilities.

  2. What is the best time to visit Valley of Fire?

    The best time to visit Valley of Fire is during the fall and spring when the weather is mild and comfortable for outdoor activities. Summer months can be extremely hot, while winter months can be chilly.

  3. Is there an entrance fee to the park?

    Yes, there is an entrance fee to enter the park. As of 2021, the fee is $10 per vehicle for Nevada residents and $15 per vehicle for non-residents. Pedestrians and cyclists are charged $2 per person.

  4. Are pets allowed in the park?

    Yes, pets are allowed in the park but must be kept on a leash at all times and are not allowed on hiking trails or in the visitor center.

  5. Are there camping facilities in the park?

    Yes, Valley of Fire has a campground with 72 campsites, including some with electric and water hookups. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak season.

  6. Are there hiking trails in the park?

    Yes, there are several hiking trails in the park, ranging from easy to strenuous. Some popular trails include the Fire Wave Trail, White Domes Trail, and Mouse’s Tank Trail.

  7. Can I climb on the rocks in the park?

    No, climbing on the rocks in the park is prohibited to protect the park’s natural resources and for visitor safety.

  8. Is there a visitor center in the park?

    Yes, there is a visitor center in the park that offers information about the park’s geology, history, and recreational opportunities.

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