There’s more to Las Vegas than bars, casinos, and sinning. If you leave the city you can find some of the most unique landscapes. You may have not heard of the Valley of State Fire, but you’ve likely seen a few photos from this iconic park. The park is located about 50 miles NE of Las Vegas and it’s filled with red sandstone formations. The red rocks within the park reminded me a bit of some of the Utah National Parks. If you’re in Vegas and wanting to escape the city and get out explore, this is the perfect day trip. We only spent a half a day at the park but I felt it was long enough to see some of the highlights. If you’re someone who enjoys taking photos, I recommend either arriving early morning or during sunset hours. I had a difficult time capturing the distinct color of the rocks because of the harsh sun during mid morning/afternoon.
Something to keep in mind is the time of year you’re visiting the park. In the summer months, temperatures surpass 100s and because it’s in the desert, it always feels hotter than what it is. We visited in November and even then it felt warm in the afternoon, I still got sunburnt. Pack snacks, water, and sunscreen accordingly :). Also plan for a $10 entrance fee when entering the park.
This is a great place to hike for everyone because there are plenty of short and flat hikes with great views. My two hiking recommendations are The Fire Wave and White Domes Trail.
The Fire Wave
This is a 1.5 mile roundtrip hike that is relatively flat. The viewpoint is to sandstone formation that resembles a wave. The layers of colors on the rock were so cool; however, I’ve seen photos of this place at sunset and the colors pop quite a bit more than going in the middle of the day when we went. This is the one hike I recommend saving for later in the day, right before sunset would’ve been perfect. It’s funny to see the wave in person after only ever seeing photos of it–it’s quite a bit smaller in person than it appears in photos. This is a great spot to hike with the family, the most challenging part of this hike was walking through sand at the start.
White Domes Trail
A 1.1 flat loop hike that takes you through slot canyons. I will say that other than the slot canyons, this hike doesn’t offer too many other great views. It is short though, so it’s still worth checking it out. I loved going through the canyons.
Sights worth Seeing
A quick little pull off on the side of the road. You can see directly from the road or you can park and do a quick walk through the formations. I recommend just viewing from the road 🙂
Mouse Tank Road
This is the famous road through the park. I’ve done a lot of road trips in my life and this was one of the coolest roads. The rock formations expand for miles and miles on both sides of the road. If you want the infamous road shot, there are gravel pull offs near Rainbow Vista as the road bends and starts to descent. This was one of my favorite viewpoints in the park.
Other Spots I’d Recommend:
There were quite a few more spots I wanted to see, but because we only had a half day in the park, we ran out of time. Based on prior research, I wouldn’t miss these spots:
Pink Canyon–A lesser known unmarked canyon with different shades of pink
Windstone Arch (Fire Arch)–I’ve heard this is a great place for photographers, again I recommend this spot first thing in the morning due to the way the light hits the rock
Atlatl Rock–Come here to see a staircase that leads to petroglyphs. This looks like a kids’ paradise of a playground.
What to Pack:
- Sunblock–No matter the time of year you’re visiting this is an essential! <<Check out Supergoop>>
- Hiking Boots–I recommend investing in a good pair of boots that’ll last you. I LOVE my danners. <<Shop Here>>
- If I’m not doing much of a hike and more so walking, I love these nikes. I’ve walked quite a bit of miles in them. <<Check out walking shoes here>>
- Jacket–Bringing a jacket is essential, even if it’s just for evenings when the temperatures drop. I always just have this in my backpack in case of emergency. <<Shop my jacket here>>
- Day Pack–Even if you’re not hiking, its convenient to have everything located in a day pack. I love the osprey brand. <<Check out my day pack>>
- First Aid Kit–I always have this in my hiking bag in case of emergency. It’s always good to carry one. <<Check out first aid kit here>>
- Camera— This place is so easy to capture because of how beautiful it is. <<Shop my camera here>>
- Lens–Great lens for landscape photography. <<Shop Tamron Lens Here>>
- Water Bottle–Highly recommend bringing a water bottle to avoid plastic waste. Hydro Flasks are worth the price. <<Shop hydro flasks here>>
- Snacks–Hear me out, yes these may be eaten primarily by children, BUT I love these. I always throw a couple of these in my backpack because they’re perfect when you need a quick snack. <<Check out smoothie packs here>>
That’s a wrap on my Valley of Fire must see spots. Hope you find this helpful.