Valley of Fire State Park is not to be missed while visiting Las Vegas. It is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park located an hour drive north of the city. This is a popular place to witness the brightly colored sandstone formations, the iconic fire wave and thousands of years of human history.
Get your hiking shoes ready for best day trip from Las Vegas at the Valley of Fire State Park. Entry to the park is $10 per car.
Hiking Through Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire has several hikes of varying lengths throughout the park. Arriving early in the morning, you can easily complete everything the park has to offer in one day.
The beehives are an unusual sandstone formation that look like, as you might guess, giant beehives!
We then recommend driving straight to the Fire Wave, a unique slickrock with interchanging streaks of beige and red-orange colored sandstone. This iconic hike is probably the reason you are visiting the park and can get unbearably hot in the middle of the day. Heading there first things means cooler temperatures and fewer people in the photos!
The White Domes hike takes you passed many interesting rock formations with beautiful contrasting colors. You even get to walk through a small slot canyon.
Rainbow Vista is a panoramic viewpoint that gives you a great photo of the multicolored sandstone across the landscape.
Mouse’s Tank is the most interesting hike in the Valley of Fire. This short trail passes by numerous prehistoric petroglyphs on the surrounding rock faces.
The Seven Sisters rock formation is a fascinating set of seven red rocks seemingly jutting out of the barren ground. There are many shaded picnic tables making this the perfect spot for lunch.
Cabins / Lone Rock
Take a glimpse back to the start of the state park with the original stone cabins built for hikers in the 1930s.
Just a short walk from the parking lot, elephant rock is where you can bring your imagination to life. It is surprising how much a simple rock formation can invoke the image of a giant elephant!
Take a photo of the best example of petroglyphs in the park on the massive balancing Atlatl Rock.
For the last stop of the day, witness a small sandstone arch. As a great photo opportunity it just a quick stop off the road.
Dress Appropriately for the Weather
Several of the hikes, especially the Fire Wave offer little to no shade at all. At the same time, some of the hikes with shade can be quite cool, especially in the non-summer months. We would recommend wearing a breathable long sleeve shirt to protect from the sun with a light sweater during the cooler months.
If you are camping overnight during the winter, temperatures can reach around freezing during the night.
Start Early To Beat The Sun
The Valley of Fire State Park is open from sunrise to sunset, so arrive early to take advantage of all the light. Just an hour drive north of Las Vegas, get your day started before the sun to get there when the park opens.
Do as much hiking early in the day or later in the afternoon to avoid the hot sun. We visited in October and around lunch time the heat was too much for us to hike more than 10 minutes at a time.
Stay Hydrated and Bring Snacks
With the warm sun and a full day ahead of you, it is important to bring along plenty of water and snacks. Even though each hike might sound short and easy, the warm sun and sandy air will keep you looking for water the entire time.
Camping at Valley of Fire State Park
While you can do everything in the park in one long day, there is also the option to do it over two days at a more relaxed pace. Valley of Fire offers 72 camping spots on a first come first serve basis. The spots normally fill up by lunchtime, so you have to make a decision when you arrive.
Camping costs $20 per spot with shaded tables, grills, water and restrooms.