Valley of Fire State Park Guide

HikeSnobs rate this: 3.5thumb

Location: 

Visited: January 16, 2016

Description: Oldest and largest state park in Nevada

Fees: Entrance $10 per vehicle ($8 per vehicle for Nevada resident)

Recommended Duration: 1-2 days

Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Wildlife: Big horn sheep, coyote, jackrabbit, rare desert tortoise, lizards, snakes etc.

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Pets: Dog on-leash

Parking: Roadside or parking lot

Best time to go: Anytime but definitely better if you avoid summers

Bring: Camera, water, snacks


It’s not hard to see where Valley of Fire get its name. The desert terrain is covered with beautiful red sand stones. Shifting sand dunes and extensive erosion has shaped the landscape  we see today.

Being Nevada’s oldest and largest state park, you can find ancient trees and traces of the early man throughout the area. If you are looking for a dramatic landscapes, fun hiking trails, some climbing, colorful views and ancient petroglyphs, then Valley of Fire is the perfect place for a day trip!


Campsites: Being the ambitious adventurers we are, it only took us half a day to explore the entire park. But if you would like to take your time and camp, there are 72 first come-first serve campsites.

Fee: $20/night

  • Atlal Campground: 43 campsites. Some are semi-primitive and others are RV sites with water and power hookups. This campground offers showers and modern restrooms.
  • Arch Rock: Near Atlatl Rock Campground is the more primitive Arch Rock Campground with a more secluded campsite.
  • Beehives: 3 group camping area (reservation only)

Water, bathroom and showers are available.

Food: There is no food concession available in the park. If you plan on staying for the day, make sure you pack food and drinks.

Fuel: No gas stations inside the park. The park isn’t too big so make sure you have a full tank of gas when you arrive. If you’re worried, you can bring some full gas containers. We did notice an indistinct area near Atlal Campground that seemed like it may have been a gas station but we didn’t check it out to confirm.


Points of interest:

  • Hikes:

Duck Rock   2.5thumb

A rock shaped liked a duck. How clever. This is a better “balanced rock” than Balanced Rock itself!

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Fire Wave   3.5thumb

Gorgeous rock layering… The site isn’t shown on the maps yet but you can park in Parking Lot #3 and cross the road to follow the trail for this beautiful hike.

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Mouse Tank   .5thumb

This half a mile, roundtrip hike takes you to a natural basin in the rock where water collects after rainfall. You will pass prehistoric petroglyphs along the hike to the “tank”.

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Slot Canyon   2thumb

Also not listed on the map is this colorful canyon. Just park on the side of dip #5 and follow the footsteps to the right.

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White Domes   2thumb

Sandstone formations with brilliant contrasting colors, picnic area, and a one mile scenic trail. White Domes is 5.5 miles (8.8 km) drive from the Visitor Center. A short slot canyon is located here too.

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  • Quick Stops:

Arch Rock   1thumb

A two-mile scenic loop road provides views of some of the Valley’s most interesting rock formations, such as Arch Rock and Piano Rock.

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Atlatl Rock   1.5thumb

A quick climb to the top of this rock to see ancient Indian petroglyphs.

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Balanced Rock   .5thumb

A short walk from the visitor center is this rock formation. We didn’t think it was a very impressive Balanced Rock…

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Beehive   2thumb

Eroding forces of wind and water have given this sandstone it’s unique beehive curvatures.

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There’s a new Queen Bee in town!

Cabins   2thumb

The Civilian Conversation Corps built these historic stone cabins in the 1930’s to provide a shelter for travelers traversing through the area. There are picnic tables here so you can enjoy a nice lunch break from all the exploring.

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Clark Memorial   .5thumb

A historical memorial which honors a traveler of the past.


Elephant Rock   2.5thumb

The name is pretty self-explanatory 😀

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Lone Rock   .5thumb

A great spot for a picnic and to relax after a long day of exploring.

Petrified Logs   1thumb

Logs and stumps, washed into the area from an ancient forest about 225 million years ago, are exposed in two locations.

  • View points:

Fire Canyon/Silica Dome   2thumb

From this vantage point there is an excellent view of the deep red sandstone of Fire Canyon and the unique geological features of Silica Dome. Also a great spot to nap 😛

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Rainbow Vista   3thumb

A beautiful panoramic viewpoint of multi-hued sandstones. Pictures do not do it justice…

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Seven Sisters   2thumb 

Beautiful red rock formations. Can you get all seven sisters in one photo?

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After 10+ hours of nonstop hiking on zero hours of sleep, we were able to explore just about every hike in Valley Fire of Fire. We couldn’t believe we were able to conquer the entire park in just one day! If you are ambitious as we are, it shouldn’t be a problem!

Until next time!


@HikeSnobs Tips:

  • Bring plenty of water!

Useful map:


Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Leave us a message bel

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