How to Visit Valley of Fire from Las Vegas: Top Things to Do
Spending time in the Las Vegas area and wanting a little nature and adventure? Visiting Valley of Fire from Las Vegas makes the perfect day trip to one of America’s most beautiful State Parks. Here’s everything you need to know.
Las Vegas is known for its thrilling casinos and hotels that host spectacles from the hottest artists of the moment but it’s also a city of contrasts. The city rises out of the desert like a sea of neon yet it’s in the desert around the city that you’ll find the best gems.
Amongst them is Valley of Fire State Park. Even though this popular State Park is just a short drive from the city, it feels like you are entering another unearthly-like dimension.
Known for its geological features, Mars-like landscape and fire-like color, Valley of Fire is one of those places you simply must visit at one point on your trip to Nevada.
If you are looking for a day trip from Vegas filled with adventure this guide is for you. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about visiting the Valley of Fire from Vegas for the idyllic trip.
Read More: The Un-Vegas Guide to One Day in Las Vegas
*This ‘valley of fire from las vegas’ guide contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with top-quality content for free.
Best Time to Visit Valley of Fire
The best time to visit Valley of Fire State Park is between October and April when temperatures are more comfortable. Late spring and early fall are also doable times to visit Valley of Fire but you might need to do most of your hiking in the early morning and in the evening to avoid the heat.
While it might be tempting, visiting Valley of Fire from Vegas is not recommended during the summer months. The daytime temperatures are increasingly high, reaching somewhere between 100 and 120 degrees. This makes hiking and sightseeing difficult.
If you can only visit in the summer months, it’s worth knowing that you can still drive through the park in the comfort of your air-conditioned vehicle and still see a lot. Note that some trails, like Fire Wave, are closed, however.
If you go with your vehicle, whichever time you decide to visit, don’t forget to fill up on gas before leaving Las Vegas since there are not too many stations in the close vicinity.
Overton, which is about 11 miles from the park, is the best option you have.
How to get to Valley of Fire State Park from Vegas?
If this is your first time heading in this direction, let’s start with checking off the most important thing on the list – how to get to Valley of Fire from Las Vegas.
Valley of Fire State Park is located in Overton, NV, about 53 miles northeast of Las Vegas. There are only two main entrances to the park – one is from the west and the other one from the east.
Coming from Vegas, you’ll most probably use the western entrance.
The easiest way to visit Valley of Fire is by car. This way it will take you one hour to reach Valley of Fire from Las Vegas. If you’re visiting as part of a day trip from Vegas, this is the fastest way to get around.
I highly recommend renting a car once you touch down in Las Vegas, if you’re not doing a road trip. Cars can be rented at Las Vegas Airport or downtown.
Valley of Fire Tours
If you only have a day to spare and want to avoid the hassle of driving there and back there are some excellent tours that will satisfy your need for adventure and sightseeing.
Some of the top-rated tours that will take you to the Valley of Fire from Las Vegas are below.
↠ Valley of Fire + Mojave Desert tour. This is most people’s top pick since it includes two interesting experiences.
↠ Hiking tour of Valley of Fire State Park. For those who are actively traveling all the time, and want to experience a little bit of adventure – this is a perfect choice. Also, the Valley of Fire trails deserve a mention of their own – once you see them, you’ll know what I’m talking about!
↠ Grand Canyon day trip. This trip includes Hoover Dam, too, so it might be worth looking into it.
↠ Las Vegas helicopter tour at night. Gives you such a unique perspective on one of the best cities in the world and its surroundings. One for the way back.
↠ Valley of Fire ATV tour. It starts from Vegas and continues to the Valley of Fire where you’ll explore the valley by ATV – a fantastic way to spend the day.
Need-to-Knows Before Visiting
For first-time visitors, here’s some handy information worth knowing before you set off.
↠ The park is not free. If you go with a car, you pay a fee of $10 per vehicle (if the vehicle is from Nevada) and $15 per vehicle (for all other out-of-state ones).
↠ The Valley Of Fire visitor center is open daily from about 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The campground is accessible all the time (for those with a reservation).
↠ If you want to have a picnic there are many shaded areas which also have restrooms. These include Seven Sisters, the Cabins, Atlatl Rock, White Domes, and Mouse’s Tank Trailhead area.
↠There are only a few permitted places where you can make a fire, including fireplaces and grills.
↠Drones are prohibited.
↠ If you have a dog and wish to bring them along – you can! But you need to keep them on a leash at all times (less than 6 feet in length).
↠WiFi is available while you are at the park for a fee.
↠ There is no cell service in all parts of the park, so I recommend downloading Google Maps for offline use to help you navigate.
How long do you need for Valley of Fire?
Since the park is not too large, you can cover all the main Valley of Fire hikes in a day. That is why it is the perfect destination for all those adventure-seekers who don’t have more than a day to spare.
However, for those who wish to enjoy a magnificent experience – spend the night camping!
The park offers 2 great campgrounds, that operate on a first-come, first-served basis and include a limit of 14 and 30-day periods. Shed tables and grills are featured, as well as water access with clean showers.
Things to Do in Valley of Fire State Park
There are so many wonderful things to do in Valley of Fire to fill a whole day. The bright Aztec sandstone formations that appear everywhere in the park are the reason why this park is called Valley of Fire.
As soon as sunlight hits them, they look as though they truly are on fire!
These sandstone creations were made more than 150 million years ago.
Since the Valley of Fire spans over about 40,000 acres, it offers a wide range of activities. Going from Valley of Fire to Las Vegas and vice versa is an excellent choice, especially for those wanting a bit more adventure than what the Las Vegas Strip can offer.
Here is a list of some of the best things to do in Valley of Fire State Park in 1 day.
Drive the Fire Highway through the Park
The road that connects the two entrances with stunning vistas is called the Nevada Scenic Byway. It comes with many twists, and you will be amazed by it.
If you want to explore every detail of the Byway, you can get a map of it as soon as you enter the park and stop wherever you like along the way. The road is about 25 miles, but only 10 of them are actually within the park.
With a lot to explore here, you will spend your day reveling in the landscape. It is such a scenic route, and it is paved all the way to make your trip a lot more convenient.
Visit the Spectacular Red Rock Formations
The rock formations in Valley of Fire are pretty unique and quite spectacular. There are many distinct shapes and forms to discover as you drive around.
Most of the rock formations are pretty close to the road so you will be able to see them as you drive around. Here are some of the most famous that you can’t miss.
The Beehives – a unique rocky gift from Mother Nature. They have a lot of ring layers – this is a geologic phenomenon called cross-bedding that looks like a giant rock beehive.
Arch Rock – you guessed it – curved rocks that have been formed by centuries of erosion.
Balanced rock – a huge, self-balancing boulder on top of a huge vertical rock.
Atlatl Rock – A rock named after a throwing stick or dart used in ancient times. You’ll need to climb a short staircase to get to this rock on which you’ll be able to see 4,000-year-old petroglyphs.
Elephant Rock – A huge rock that looks just like an elephant, trunk and all.
Fire Cave – A beautiful red sandstone cave naturally caved into the Rock. This will be one of the first places to visit as you enter the park.
Go on a Hike
Valley of Fire is full of spectacular hikes of varying lengths and difficulties. Many of them are less than a mile which means that you can hike several within your one day in Valley of Fire State Park.
For those staying longer or fancy a little more of a challenge, there are also longer and more technical hikes for you to enjoy. Here are some of my favourite hikes which you can’t miss.
The Fire Wave Trail is one of the most popular trails in the park. At 1.5 miles it’s a fairly easy trail over mostly, undulating rock. At the end, you’ll reach Fire Wave, several small rocky ‘hills’ with fire-like striations on them.
The whole area is otherworldly and there really isn’t any other place quite like it in the world.
Given it’s the most popular spot in the park, you’ll be sharing it with many others. I recommend coming here first thing in the morning to try to beat the crowds.
If you can make it for sunrise, even better- the golden light on the wave makes it look even more fire-like.
White Domes Trail
Another very popular trail is the White Domes Trail. The trail (also called White Domes Road on Google Maps) is about a mile long, featuring all kinds of scenery and, at one point, you even pass a short slot canyon.
The trail ends at a point where you can see the distant mountains – it is truly an epic sight.
Rainbow Vista Trail
One of the most beautiful locations in Valley of Fire, this trail leads you to Rainbow Vista, famous for all the different colors you can see in the rock. There are different shades of red, brown, yellow and white that are ideal for photography.
The trail is about 1 mile and finishes with a vista of Fire Canyon.
Pastel (Pink Canyon)
Easily combined with Fire Wave, the Pink Canyon is a small canyon you can hike through made up of rock that’s a -you guessed it- shade of pastel pink. Even the sand at the bottom of the canyon is a pink color.
The Pastel Canyon is also part of the 7 Wonder’s Loop Trail, a 2.1 unmarked trail that connects many of the park’s geological sights together.
They include Fire Wave, Crazy Hill, Striped Rock and Kaolin Wash. Note that the trail is closed in summer from June until October.
Drive Along Mouse’s Tank Road
Mouse Tank Road is probably Vally of Fire’s most famous and most photographed road. It’s a narrow road full of turns with red rock scenery on either side. You’ll need to use this road to drive from the Visitor’s Center to the White Domes trailhead.
There are many different stops along this road and many different photography points too. They include Rainbow Vista, Fire Canyon and Balanced Rock.
Driving this road was a real highlight of my trip- make sure not to miss it.
Take a look at the Ancient Petroglyphs
Valley of Fire has been inhabited since ancient times by people called Anasazi, who lived in the park a very long time ago. They carved some petroglyphs into the rocks here which can still be seen today.
While you are visiting and exploring the park, why not take a look at some of these ancient drawings? They are all over the park – but the best place to see them includes Atlatl Rock, right by the west entrance.
The drawings are a combination of animals, trees, tools, weapons, and scenes from everyday life from that age. They are amazing, to say the least.
Level-Up Your Photography
Valley of Fire is painted in shades of red, orange, and yellow, making it a haven for photographers. As soon as you step foot in the park, you will start seeing some magnificent spots to photograph.
Start along Mouse Tank Road – a long, black, winding road that makes its way through the fiery red mountains and looks gorgeous! There are so many brilliant photography spots here as well as handy turnouts to park in along the way.
Make sure to embark on some of the most popular hikes too. Fire Wave and the Pastel (Pink) Canyon Trail offer some beautiful photography spots in Valley of Fire State Park.
The individual rock formations are also incredible – you can take magnificent pictures of them, too.
Visit the Visitor’s Center
Visiting Valley of Fire from Las Vegas is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the area’s history, geology and geography. You’ll be able to learn more about the backstory of Mouse’s Tank Road. Little Mouse, a Paiute outlaw in the 1890s used this area as a hideout after being accused of killing people here.
Conveniently located in the park, the Visitor Center is where visitors can rest, relax, and use the facilities if necessary.
There are even rangers who can answer any question you have.
Additionally, there are books, souvenirs, and brochures that can help you identify any flora or fauna you come across while you explore the park.
When you visit it, don’t forget to check if there is a short ranger-led hike. They last for about an hour and promise an interesting and educational experience!
Learn More About the Flora and Fauna
For those of you who have an extra knack for becoming one with nature, the Valley of Fire from Vegas offers countless options. There is plenty of vegetation, and you can see all of it while you are hiking any one of the Valley of Fire trails.
Wildflowers, cactae, brittlebushes, and more make the valley particularly beautiful.
On another note, the animals are mostly nocturnal. During the day, you can find some spot bighorn sheep, chuckwalla, birds, and ground squirrels.
Also, snakes are a very popular part of the park since it is a desert area. They come out during the warm months, so be extremely careful.
Where to Stay in Valley of Fire
If you choose to stay the night in Valley of Fire there are accommodation options. There are no hotels in Valley of Fire State Park so the only option is camping or staying in an RV/van.
As mentioned previously there are two campgrounds in Valley of Fire State Park. They are located fairly close together on the west side of the park. The two campgrounds are Arch Rock and Atlatl Rock Campground, they have 72 campsites in total.
While we didn’t camp, I’ve heard from many that Atlatl is the better campground of the two, due its amazing views and hot showers.
It is best to make reservations in advance as spots tend to fill up fast, especially in the winter high season.
For those arriving in an RV, there is a power hookup available too. If you want to be a part of a group campsite, then you need to make a reservation first.
Camping fees are $20 per vehicle per night camping fee for Nevada plates and $25 per vehicle per night camping fee for all other out-of-state plates.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
For those not wanting to camp in Valley of Fire, the next best option is staying in Las Vegas. There you’ll have access to some of the most iconic Vegas Hotels and Resorts.
Here are some of my favourite luxury stays you can enjoy before and after your day trip to Valley of Fire State Park.
Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace Las Vegas– Housed inside the Caesars Palace complex this sleek, Japanese-inspired hotel is the place to escape and unwind.
It’s the first Nobu Hotel and it’s done perfectly, I love the contemporary meets Japanese design. You can also order room service from Nobu Matsuhisa downstairs. It doesn’t get better than that. Check availability and book here.
The Venetian Resort– When it comes to the big, themed resort, you can’t beat the Venetian. Expect grand and classic rooms, two great spas, superior service and easy access to the Venetian’s shops, casino and more. Check availability and book here.
Waldorf Astoria– An exclusive and luxury hotel offering lavish accommodations, personalized service, and a relaxed atmosphere, Waldorf Astoria provides a secluded haven yet within easy reach of the Strip. Book here.
NoMad at Park MGM– A sophisticated and stylish boutique hotel located within the Park MGM resort in Las Vegas, bringing a touch of New York’s upscale elegance to the Strip.
With its refined design, curated artwork, and exceptional dining experiences, NoMad offers a distinct blend of luxury and culture for guests seeking a more intimate and elevated stay in the vibrant Las Vegas atmosphere. Book here.
The M Resort Spa Casino– A contemporary and upscale resort located just off the Las Vegas Strip, offering a more relaxed and serene atmosphere combined with modern amenities and entertainment options.
It’s the perfect stay for those looking for a bit of Vegas action but not too much. Book your stay here.
Top Tips for Visiting Valley of Fire from Vegas
Before you head back from Valley of Fire to Las Vegas, you need to know all the tips for having a good and fun visit. After all, it is the entire experience that counts!
↠ Don’t forget to bring food and drinks with you. Some sandwiches are available to purchase at the Visitor Center, but if you are spending a day there (especially if you are making a picnic, bring your own food and beverages).
↠ Sunscreen is a must. Even if you go there during the colder months, the sun will still be shining, and being exposed to sun rays without any shade longer than recommended can do some damage to the body – prevent it as much as possible.
↠ Take the proper equipment with you as well. From wide-brimmed hats to proper footwear, reusable water bottles, sunglasses, and clothing that covers most of your body is another must.
↠ Valley of Fire is a wilderness. Make sure to leave it as you found it which means packing out all trash.
Finally, prepare yourself for a day filled with thrills and adventure!
No matter what you decide – to spend a full day at this state park or get an RV and spend the night under the stars, visiting Valley of Fire from Vegas is an incredible opportunity to travel back in time, experience the wonders of nature, and enjoy a day well-spent.
Already planning your trip to Valley of Fire from Las Vegas? Have any questions or comments about your trip? Let me know in the box below.
Now more than ever, make sure not to leave home without travel insurance. For the last few years, I’ve been using Safetywing Nomad Insurance for all my individual trips and digital nomad lifestyle and there’s no better company for all my insurance needs. Cover starts from as little as $42 per month. Get your quote below now.
Planning a trip right now? These are just some of my favourite websites I use to book everything from hotels to rental cars!
Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals worldwide
Booking.com for great deals on hotels
Agoda also for great deals on hotels
Related posts you might like:
FOUND THIS POST HELPFUL? PIN IT AND SHARE