The Valley of Fire in Las Vegas is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park. Home to the most dramatic landscapes, here’s a guide for visiting.
Table of Contents
How To Get To Valley Of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park is located in the Mojave Desert, 50 miles (80km) north east of Las Vegas and 16 miles (26km) south of the town of Overton, Nevada.
This is an easy trip if you are based in Las Vegas. Most people rent a car and drive out to the Valley of Fire State Park, with the journey only taking just over an hour.
There are two main entrances to the park, one on the west and one on the east. The west entrance is the easiest and most popular when travelling from Las Vegas.
From Las Vegas, head north on the 1-15 to the town of Crystal, Nevada. From Crystal take the Valley of Fire highway 11 miles (17km) to the park entrance.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours onGet Your Guideavailable to book in advance.
For example, From Las Vegas: Valley of Fire State Park Tour is a popular, small group, 7 hour day trip.
Valley Of Fire State Park Entrance Fee
There is a $15 entrance fee per vehicle, per day.
Valley Of Fire State Park Opening Times
Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
The Visitor Centre is open daily from 9am to 4pm.
Best Time To Visit Valley Of Fire State Park + Tips
Probably the best time to visit is between October and April when the temperatures are cooler. Usually the months of May to September get very hot, making even short hikes quite challenging.
If you do visit during the summer months, try and visit early morning or later in the day to avoid some of the heat.
This is a popular tourist attraction, especially for people visiting Las Vegas. Therefore it can get pretty busy with traffic often queueing to get in by mid-morning.
Sunrise and sunset are both apparently beautiful at Valley of Fire State Park, with the valley looking like its actually on fire! You will also avoid the traffic queues at these times.
Facilities can be found at the Visitor Centre which has bathrooms, water fountains, a selection of sandwiches and drinks. As well as a collection of interesting displays and information.
What To Pack
Valley Of Fire State Park History
Spread over nearly 46000 acres, the bright red aztec sandstone formations are what gave the Valley of Fire its name. Amazingly, these sandstone formations were formed by shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago.
Prehistoric Native American communities (Ancestral Puebloans) are said to have inhabited this area between 300BC and 1150AD. They would have farmed the fertile Moapa Valley close by.
Fascinating examples of rock art (petroglyphs)left by these ancient peoples can be seen at several sites within the park.
Subsequently, the Paiute Native American community were living in this area in 1865 when Mormonssettled at nearby St Thomas, at the southern end of the Moapa Valley.
In 1933 the Civilian Conservations Corps started working on the park and following the building of roads, campgrounds, trails and visitor cabins, the park opened to the public in 1934.
This public recreation and nature preservation area is Nevada’s oldest State Park and was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1968.
What To Expect At Valley Of Fire State Park
The diversity and unusual colours of the dramatic landscape at Valley of Fire State Park are pretty spectacular.
Filled with swirling reds, oranges and pinks, visiting this magical place is a big Las Vegas bucket list tick for most people.
From canyons and petroglyphs to unique stone formations, there is plenty to see. As well as there being some great hiking opportunities.
The joy of this park is that you can spend a day of hiking in the valley or simply drive through and see most of the top spots quite quickly.
The main highway (NV 169) through the Valley of Fire State Park takes you past plenty of stunning scenery.
Undoubtedly though, White Domes Road ( or Mouse’s Tank Road) definitely offers the most spectacular views.
There are however several different roads you can follow throughout the park. All with some great viewpoints, where all you need to do is get out of your car to get some awesome photos.
In addition, if you love to spot wildlife while out and about you won’t be disappointed here. From antelope squirrels, badgers, coyotes, ring-tailed cats, desert tortoises to lizards and rattlesnakes there’s plenty to look out for.
Fun fact for all movie fans, Valley of Fire, with its unusual landscape, has been used as the backdrop in many movies over the years. Including Transformers, Total Recall, Star Trek: Generations, Casino and Breathless to name just a few!
Hiking In The Valley Of Fire
The Valley of Fire State Park has 24 different hiking trails. Many of them are quite short and easy to follow and furthermore they all have diverse and dramatic landscapes to enjoy.
If you only have a day, you can easily manage a few of the shorter trails and see some of the spectacular sights.
Although, if you are stopping for longer (there are 2 campsites within the park), you could probably complete all the trails within a couple of days.
The Visitor Centre are happy to offer suggestions for hikes of varying length and terrain. As well as point out the all the top spots.
From Mouse’s Tank Hike, Rainbow Vista and Fire Canyon Overlook Hike to Elephant Rock Hike (yes there is a rock formation that resembles an elephant), you will be spoilt for choice.
For the more adventurous that are looking for a longer hike, the Prospect Trail is a 9 mile trail into the heart of the park. Also, due to it being quieter and more remote, this hike is recommended for seeing wildlife.
If you would prefer a guided tour, the Valley of Fire Guided Hiking Tour from Las Vegas offers easy, moderate or difficult hikes, depending on your level of fitness and experience.
Where To Stay In Las Vegas
Set behind the famous Fountains of Bellagio, this luxury Las Vegas Strip hotel and casino offers multiple dining options and elegant rooms with marble en suite bathrooms.
The richly-decorated rooms of the Bellagio come with a flat-screen satellite TV and electronic drapes. Soft bathrobes, a minibar and an iPod docking station are available.
Bellagio guests can enjoy one of 5 beautiful courtyard pools and lush botanical gardens. A wide-range of dining options are available, including Sadelle’s, Prime Steakhouse and the Mayfair Supper Club.
Mid-Budget: Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino
Featuring an outdoor pool, poolside bar and lounge area, this Las Vegas casino and resort provides plush bathrobes in each elegant room.
Offering a separate vanity area off the marble en suite bathroom, each room provides a pillow-top mattress. A 40-inch flat-screen cable TV, white linens and rich wood and leather furnishings are also on offer.
Guests can relax in lounge chairs on the poolside terrace or sauna at Las Vegas Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. Slots and tables are available in the on-site casino.
Massage services are available in the Spa. Dry cleaning services and concierge services are also available. Nine restaurants and two Starbucks are onsite.
Budget: Downtowner Boutique Hotel
Near the Fremont Street Entertainment District in the heart of exciting central Las Vegas, Nevada, this economy hotel offers convenient amenities such as free parking.
Downtowner Hotel features a refreshing outdoor swimming pool. Guests will also appreciate free local calls and in-room satellite TV.
Visitors at the Hotel Downtowner can enjoy world-class dining, fine shopping and exciting gaming only minutes away.
For more places to stay in Las Vegas, you can check the latest prices onBooking.com.
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How much time do you need at the Valley of Fire? Plan on spending at least 3 to 4 hours here, to drive through the park and hike one or two short trails. With more time, you can visit more places in the park and/or add another hike to your list.How much time should I spend at Valley of Fire State Park? ›
How much time do you need at the Valley of Fire? Plan on spending at least 3 to 4 hours here, to drive through the park and hike one or two short trails. With more time, you can visit more places in the park and/or add another hike to your list.Do you need a reservation for Valley of Fire State Park? ›
Online camping reservations must be made at least three days in advance; however, reservations are not required to visit or stay at a Nevada State Park. Visitors are welcome to stay at unreserved sites on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on availability.Which is better to see Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire? ›
Valley of Fire or Red Rock Canyon: Conclusion
After visiting both parks in a weekend, we will recommend Valley of Fire if you only have time for one. We go back to Valley of Fire every time we are in Las Vegas (we love Seven Magic Mountains too).
#1 Drive the Scenic Valley of Fire Road through the Park
And with good reason! Every curve in the road opens up new “ooh-aah” vistas to admire. Get a map at the pay-booth as you enter, so you will know where to stop along the way to explore points of interest.
The best time to go to The Valley Of Fire is November through March.What is the best time of day to go to the Valley of Fire? ›
3. Opening hours and best time to visit the Valley of Fire. The opening hours from the park are from sunrise to sunset. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to visit as well because it's a lot quieter.How long does it take to drive through the Valley of Fire? ›
There are only two roads, with a few short spurs, in Valley of Fire State Park. The entire park is only ten miles across so if you're short on time and want to just take a scenic drive through the park, or stop at a few viewpoints, you'll only need two or three hours.How do you pay for Valley of Fire State Park? ›
Entrance Fee: An entrance fee is charged per vehicle upon entering Valley of Fire State Park. This fee is collected at the fee booth or at self-pay stations. Camping: Additional fees are charged for the use of camping areas and are payable at the campgrounds. All campsites are first-come, first-serve.Are there restrooms at Valley of Fire? ›
FACILITIES & AMENITIES. Camping: There are two campgrounds with a combined total of 72 units. Campsites are equipped with shaded tables, grills, water and restrooms. A dump station and showers are available.
This Valley of Fire tour begins with pick-up from your Vegas Strip hotel at 6 am. You'll arrive at the state park around 7 am and take a guided hike of 4-6 hours depending on the difficulty level, then return to the Strip. This tour also has an afternoon option that departs Las Vegas at 12:30 pm and returns at 6 pm.How long of a hike is Valley of Fire? ›
This makes the overall trail about 1.75 miles roundtrip. At the end of the Rainbow Vista trail, there is a sign pointing the way to the Fire Canyon Overlook and the way back to the parking area. At the end of this Valley of Fire hiking trail, there is a beautiful overlook of the canyon and a small arch.What is the most scenic trail on Valley of Fire? ›
The most scenic hike in the Valley of Fire is the White Domes Trail. The White Domes Trail is engulfed in towering pink, white, and red sandstone formations. Although the trail is short at 1 mile, its constantly changing scenery offers views of sandstone fins, rock formations, slot canyons, and vast wide open views.Which is better Death Valley or Valley of Fire? ›
Death Valley is a more famous National Park and VOF is a Nevada State Park. The one big advantage VOF has is that it is closer and is easier to get too. I have visited both as day trips from Vegas.