Tip: Visit early to avoid the heat!

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If you’re planning a trip to Vegas, then you should make sure to add in a stop to Valley of Fire State Park. This incredible park is just a short drive from the Vegas Strip, but feels worlds away. This guide will cover the best things to do in Valley of Fire State Park, plus how to get to Valley of Fire from Las Vegas. 

Visiting Valley of Fire from Las Vegas  - Fire of Wave trail in the early morning
Visiting Valley of Fire from Las Vegas

How to get to Valley of Fire

The Valley of Fire is located in Overton, NV, approximately 53 miles northeast of Las Vegas. There are two main entrances to Valley of Fire – the East entrance and the West entrance. You should be able to reach the park from Vegas in under an hour by car. 

This makes visiting Valley of Fire from Las Vegas an awesome day trip! However, I strongly recommend spending at least one night in the park, so you can experience the magic of sunrise in the Valley of Fire!

By far, the best way to get to Valley of Fire from Las Vegas is by car (either a rental car or your own car). Be sure to book your rental car in advance to get a good rate. 

However, if you are tight on time or driving isn’t an option for you, then you can consider a day trip by tour. Here are some great tours to check out: 

Best time to visit Valley of Fire 

While you can technically visit the park year-round, it gets incredibly hot. I visited in early May, and by 9am it was already upwards of 100 degrees! For this reason, the best time to visit Valley of Fire is between October and April, when the temperatures are more mild. 

Exploring the park in peak summer can be unbearably hot, so I do not recommend it.

Mouse's Tank Road
Mouse’s Tank Road

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How long do you need to visit Valley of Fire?

Valley of Fire isn’t a particularly large park, so you should be able to cover all of the main hikes in just 1 day. It is also possible as a day trip from Vegas, however I recommend spending at least 1 night camping in Valley of Fire State Park. 

Park details

Fees: $10 for NV vehicles, $15 for non-NV vehicles for non-overnight visits. $20 camping fee for NV vehicles, and $25 camping fee for non-NV vehicles. If you are arriving after 4pm, be sure to bring cash as you will need to self-pay.

Hours: The park is only open from sunrise to sunset, unless you are booked at one of the campsites. These can be reached 24/7. 

WiFi: WiFi is available in the park for a fee. Cell service is limited. I recommend downloading offline maps for the park ahead of time. 

Drones: Drones are not allowed at the Valley of Fire

Restrooms: You’ll find a number of restrooms around the park at various trailheads. 

Pets: You are allowed to bring your dog to Valley of Fire, however they must remain on a leash. 

Best way to get around Valley of Fire is by car (or campervan)!
Best way to get around Valley of Fire is by car (or campervan)!

Getting around the park

The park is rather spread out, so the best way to get around the park is to drive. The park isn’t particularly large, so you could see the entire park (from the car) in under an hour. 

Best campsites

There are only 2 campgrounds in Valley of Fire State Park, totaling 72 campsites. All sites are first-come, first-served. There is also a dump station and hot showers available. 

Atlatl Campground in Valley of Fire State Park
Atlatl Campground in Valley of Fire State Park

I recommend camping at Atlatl Campground if there are spots available. The views from here are absolutely incredible. Plus, you’ll have the hot showers (which are surprisingly good) right there! Camping fees are $25 per car for non-Nevada residents.

Views at Atlatl Campground
Views at Atlatl Campground
Setting up camp in Valley of Fire
Setting up camp in Valley of Fire

Best things to do in Valley of Fire

Fire Wave Trail

The Fire Wave trail is probably the most popular hiking trail in the park, and it is easy to see why! This out-and-back trail is only 1.5 miles, but the views are simply incredible. I would give yourself at least an hour, perhaps a bit more if you plan to take photos (which I’m sure you’ll want to do).

There is a bit of elevation gain (174 ft), but overall it is an easy hike for any fitness level. 

Early morning on the Fire Wave trail
Early morning on the Fire Wave trail

To get to the trailhead of the Fire Wave trail, follow signs to the White Domes. About 1.5 miles down the road you’ll find parking lot #3.

This trail gets very crowded, so to beat the crowds I recommend hiking early in the morning. We did this hike around 6:30 am on a weekday, and there were quite a few other people on the trail already by the time we were finishing up. 

One of the most popular hikes in Valley of Fire - Fire Wave
One of the most popular hikes in Valley of Fire – Fire Wave
Make sure to hike early to avoid the heat (and the crowds) - Fire Wave
Make sure to hike early to avoid the heat (and the crowds)

Mouse’s Tank Road 

Mouse’s Tank Road is one of the most scenic spots in Valley of Fire State Park, and easily one of the best photo spots. We came at sunrise and the views were simply magical – as cheesy as that sounds! 

To get to this spot you’ll want to pass the Mouse Tank Trail on your right hand side. Continue down the road for another minute or two, just until the road starts to curve. You’ll have to scramble up the rock on your left hand side for this iconic view.

girl at Sunrise at Mouse's Tank Road
Sunrise at Mouse’s Tank Road
Early morning photoshoot at Valley of Fire State Park
Early morning photoshoot at Valley of Fire State Park

Rainbow Vista Trail

This trail is just over a mile long, and should take the average hiker around half an hour to complete. Since it is flat, it is a popular trail for runners, in addition to hiking. The loop goes to an overlook of Fire Canyon. It gets its name from the array of colors in the sandstone.

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White Domes Trail

The White Domes trail is one of the prettiest trails in the park. The trail is just over a mile long and relatively flat, with some fun mini scrambles. It is one of the easiest trails in the park, and therefore one of the most popular. It can easily be completed in under an hour.

The best part of the train, in my opinion, is the slot canyon. Similar to all of the hikes on this list, the earlier the better to avoid crowds!

You’ll find a picnic area and restrooms at the trailhead, along with a decent sized parking lot.

Atlatl Rock 

An ‘atlatl’ is defined as a throwing stick or a dart thrower used by ancient tribes to give more force to their darts or spears.

Atlatl Rock is more of a sight to see than an actual hike. The “trail” up and down the staircase is only about 0.1 mile. Once at the top, you’ll reach a giant rock structure with petroglyphs drawn into the side of the rock face. These petroglyphs – or ancient drawings – have been around for at least 4,000 years.

It is a quick stop, but offers great views for sunset!

Sunset at Atlatl Rock
Sunset at Atlatl Rock
Hieroglyphics at Atlatl Rock
Petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock

Pastel Canyon (Pink Canyon)

It is best to visit this trail in the morning or late afternoon, when the sun isn’t directly above. This will give you a better chance of seeing all of the colors in the stones. 

This trail is unmarked on the map but located super close to the Fire Wave trail. 

Hiking Pastel Canyon
Hiking Pastel Canyon
The view of Pink Canyon (Pastel Canyon)
The view of Pink Canyon (Pastel Canyon)

Exploring the US? Here are some other guides to check out:

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