If you’re planning a visit to Valley of Fire State Park you might also be interested in some hiking. Find out everything you need to know about the best Valley of Fire hikes.
Valley of Fire State Park is easily one of the most beautiful state parks in Nevada and possibly even the US. With a multitude of unique rock formations and vibrant colors strewn across the Mojave Desert landscape, spending a day in Valley of Fire while in Nevada is an absolute must.
Located just 54 miles from Las Vegas, there’s no reason for you to skip it.
You can easily see much of this state park from the comfort of your vehicle, but getting out into the landscape and onto the trails is one of the best things to do in Valley of Fire.
With several Valley of Fire trails available, both long and extremely short, there is something for everyone here.
In this post, you’ll find everything you need to know about all the major Valley of Fire hikes. From short loop trails around some of the most famous natural sights to longer, more strenuous hikes, you’ll be able to find the perfect hike for you.
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Best Valley Of Fire Hikes
Valley of Fire has many spectacular hiking trails that offer epic scenery and fantastic views. Here’s our pick of the best Valley of Fire trails in the park so you can make the most of your time.
Find most of the hikes on the map below
The Fire Wave Trail
Trail length: 1.5 miles out and back
Time: 45 minutes (plus more for photos)
The Fire Wave Trail is a short trail that will take you to one of Valley of Fire’s most popular sites- the Fire Wave Rock.
The trail is fairly flat and easy and at the end, you’ll get to the spectacular Fire Wave, a large rocky mound or small hill which has very interesting and colorful striations. The rock literally looks like a wave of fire, hence its name.
Start at the Fire Wave Trailhead. As the trail starts you’ll walk towards the rocky cliffs. The trail will then begin to curve to the right.
Keep following it up and over a few soft hills and mounts. At this point, the trail gets rockier and rockier until the trail begins to cross the rock. It might become easier to get lost at this point so make sure to follow the sign.
This is one of the most popular trails in the park so it’s best to do this one early. There’s also virtually no shade on the trail so make sure to come prepared.
Important note: Fire Wave Trail or the 7 Wonder’s Loop Trail also includes Fire Wave, Crazy Hill and Kaolin Wash amongst others is closed in the summer months from June until October.
The White Domes Trail
Trail length: 1 mile loop total
Difficulty: Easy with a few short climbs
Time: 30 minutes
Another one of the most popular Valley of Fire hikes is the White Domes Loop Trail located at the end of White Domes Road or Mouse’s Tank Road.
The trail is about a mile long, featuring all kinds of scenery and at one point, you even pass a short slot canyon which is a pretty cool experience. The trail ends at a point where you can see the distant mountains – it is truly an epic sight!
At the trailhead, you’ll find plenty of parking, a picnic spot and services. The White Domes Trail is a great trail to combine with many of the other shorter trails for an all-around Valley of Fire day trip.
Pinnacles Trail Loop
Trail length: 4.5 miles loop total
Time: 1.5 – 2 hours
This is one of the longer trails in Valley of Fire State Park that takes in many of the park’s surroundings. The Pinnacles Loop begins with a sandy wash before you enter a beautiful red rock canyon.
You also reach the Red Pinnacles toward the trail’s end, and you can enjoy wandering around the spires for some stunning sights.
Due to its slightly longer length, this one is not a very popular trail and you might have it all to yourself.
There’s very little shade on this trail and it is one of the longest in the park so make sure to come prepared. That means taking plenty of water, wearing and hat and using sunscreen.
If you’re visiting in the warmer months make sure to hike this trail in the early morning.
The trail starts from Atlatl Rock and is easily reached from Valley of Fire’s two campgrounds.
Elephant Rock Loop Trail
Trail length: 1.2 miles loop total
Time: 20 minutes
The Valley of Fire Elephant Rock Loop Trail is a very short hike that’ll take you to Elephant Rock, one of the most unique rock formations in the park. As the name suggests, it’s a rock resembling an elephant- trunk and all.
The trail is a mixture of sand and soil and it’s a gentle undulating trail that’s perfect for beginner hikers and the whole family. Experienced hikers might call it a walk rather than a hike, but either way, it’s well worth the quick leg stretch for a look at Elephant Rock.
Old Arrowhead Road
Trail length: 6.8 miles point to point
Time: 2.5 hours
The Old Arrowhead Road is one of the longest trails in Valley of Fire State Park. This Valley of Fire hike begins not long after you enter the park through the western entrance (0.5 miles) and roughly follows Valley of Fire Highway- the park’s main road going west-east. The trail ends at Elephant Rock.
The trail is a long one but it isn’t particularly steep. The terrain does get sandy in some areas. You’ll pass through and be able to see most of the park’s southern end- beautiful desert scenery that goes on for miles.
This trail passes close to Beehives and Seven Sisters before finishing at Elephant Rock so you’ll be able to see many of the park’s unique rock formations and attractions.
Natural Arches Trail
Trail length: 5 miles out and back
Difficulty: Easy but with some rock scramble and deep sand.
Time: 1 hour-1.5 hours
Natural Arches Trail is an in and out trail and one of the longer, less popular trails in Valley of Fire. It’s still an easy hike however with the trailhead beginning close to Clark Memorial.
The trail is generally pretty gradual however, there are a couple of areas that feature a rock scramble where you’ll need to use your hands to help you up. There are also areas of deep sand to walk through.
The trail is very open with little shade, so this isn’t a good idea when it’s windy.
Unfortunately, there’s no arch at the end, it fell many years prior but the trail still does have sublime desert views throughout.
Note that the Natural Arches Trail is also closed during the summer season from June until October.
Trail length: 9 miles out and back
Difficulty: Moderate- Difficult
Time: 5-6 hours total
Only listed for experienced hikers, this Valley of Fire hike is just over 9 miles long, and it is moderate to difficult.
The largely desert backcountry trail is well-marked and takes you through amazing scenery and around beautiful rock formations.
You’ll experience the slot canyons of the White Domes Trail as well as beautiful desert expanses almost the whole way. Prepare for a few rock scrambles that aren’t technically challenging too.
You can begin the trail at the White Domes Trailhead- the Prospect Trail actually follows the White Domes Trail for a half mile or so- or from the parking near the Petrifies Logs Loop.
Rainbow Vista Trail
Trail length: 2 miles out and back
Time: 30 mins
A popular trail that’s open year round, the Rainbow Vista Trail is one of the best easy Valley of Fire hikes.
You’ll see some beautiful rock formations, vibrant colors and the opportunity to see quite a bit of wildlife that tends to traverse the trail such as Bighorn Sheep.
There’s little shade on this trail so make sure to bring water.
Mouse’s Tank Trail
Trail length: 1.4 miles out and back
Time: 20 mins
Located just a little before Rainbow Vista Trail, Mouse’s Tank Trail is another short trail, perfect for those looking for a variety of short trails during their trip to Valley of Fire State Park.
This is a short, sandy trail which provides some beautiful views of Mouse Tank Road. It’s fairly similar to Rainbow Vista Trail so you might just want to choose one rather than doing them both.
Petrified Log Loop
Trail length: 0.3 miles loop
Difficulty: Very Easy
Time: 10 mins
This easy walk through the desert is a lovely way to stretch your legs as you arrive at Valley of Fire State Park.
On this trail hikers can encounter petrified logs, remnants of trees that lived millions of years ago, now transformed into stone. It’s quite the journey into the desert’s past.
As you walk the trail you’ll be surrounded by the park’s fiery red rock formations that create a nice contrast to the pale fossilized wood.
As this is a very easy walk it’s suitable for anyone who wants to marvel at Valley of Fire’s geological wonders.
Fire Canyon Loop Trail
Trail length: 5.5 miles loop
Time: 2.5 hours
The Fire Canyon Loop Trail is one of the most popular Valley of Fire hikes. It’s a beautiful hike with lots of incredible views so if you’re looking for one of the most scenic hikes in Valley of Fire, this is a great option.
There’s almost no shade on the trail and it does get a little challenging at times but it’s a very rewarding trail.
You’ll need to pay attention to the trail markers as the trail does disappear every now and gain. It does help to download the trail before heading out too.
Pastel (Pink) Canyon Trail
Trail length: 0.8 miles
Time: 15 minutes
The Pastel (Pink) Canyon Trail is actually part of the Seven Wonder’s trail and a potential extension to the Fire Wave Trail.
This part of the trail starts at the Fire Wave and continues through the Pastel Canyon until you get to the main highway.
The Pink Canyon trail is an easy trail, mainly flat along the bottom of the canyon floor. The trail does get narrow in parts and you’ll need to navigate between the rock canyon walls and the sandy bottom.
Most of the trail is through sand but as it’s short, it’s not difficult.
As you walk through the canyon you’ll see its beautiful pink rock sides and the pink sand at its bottom. The whole trail is full of such lovely shades of pastel pink, orange and white.
Balancing Rock Trail
Trail length: 0.3 miles out and back
Difficulty: Very easy
Time: 5 minutes
The Balancing Rock trail is a 5-minute, flat trail to Balancing Rock- one of Valley of Fire’s most unique rock formations.
This trail is open all year round and as it’s super short, it can also be done in summer, but I highly recommend you don’t visit Valley of Fire in the summer months- it’s just too hot.
Even though the trail is super easy, there’s a very nice view from the Balancing Rock.
Parking is at the Visitor Center where there are services available.
Seven Wonders Loop Trail
Trail length: 2 miles loop
Time: 45 minutes- 1 hour
I’ve already mentioned parts of this trail in some of the above shorter trails but Seven Wonder’s Loop is a collective, larger loop which combines and joins many of the shorter trails.
The trailhead begins at Fire Wave and loops around to take in Pastel Canyon, Crazy Hill, Striped Rock and Kaolin Wash. It’s a great Valley of Fire hike to take in the scenery and notice the sheer variety of colour in the rock.
The trail has virtually no shade and closes from June to October due to the extreme heat.
Visiting Valley of Fire State Park FAQ
Can You Hike Valley of Fire State Park in a Day?
You can absolutely visit and make the most of the Valley of Fire State Park hikes in just a day.
The park isn’t big and many of the main highlights you can see by car when driving around. You won’t be able to hike all the trails in a day but you can choose a few easy hikes or a long one and make the most of your day.
How many hikes you do really depends on you, your energy and fitness levels as well as environmental factors like how hot it is.
Even if you don’t hike at all you’ll still be able to make a good day of it.
Read How to Visit Valley of Fire from Las Vegas: Top Things to Do for the full-day trip guide.
Is there an Entrance fee to Valley of Fire?
There is an entrance fee which you’ll need to pay at the booth on your way into the park, either at the west or east entrance. The fee is $10 per vehicle for Nevada residents (Nevada plates) and $15 for non-Nevada residents.
There are no passes that cover the entrance fee- you need to pay upfront.
Top Tips for Hiking in Valley of Fire
↠ It’s important to remember that Valley of Fire is a hot, dry desert environment and health risks related to heat like sunstroke and heat stroke are real so it’s best to come prepared. Make sure to bring A LOT of water with you, snacks and food for the day, sunscreen, sun hat, adequate clothing for hiking and good hiking boots.
↠ If you’re not a US resident make sure not to head out without travel/health insurance. Medical treatment is really costly in the US and you don’t want to get caught out if an accident were to happen. Sign up for Safety Wing Nomad insurance here. It’s what I use for every trip.
↠ Don’t visit in the summer- it’s just too hot. Plus many of the trails are closed due to the heat. The best time to visit Valley of Fire is from October through May. We visited in January and we had perfect weather for hiking.
↠ Stay on the trail- Valley of Fire’s ecosystem is fragile and hiking off-trail means you can damage it.
↠ Make sure not to leave anything behind and pack out all trash. If you’re staying at the campgrounds make sure to dispose of trash in the designated areas.
↠ There is little phone signal in Valley of Fire State Park. Make sure to download Google Maps for offline use as well as trail maps for the best hikes you plan to do. On some trails, it’s easy to get lost.
Which Valley of Fire hikes will you do? Have any questions or comments about your trip? Let me know in the box below.
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