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A Visit to the Valley of Fire from Las Vegas

The Valley of Fire is Nevada’s very first State Park. Named in 1935 to reflect its firy sandstone formations and petrified sand dunes it suits its name perfectly.  A tour of The Valley of Fire, set in the wild beauty of the Mojave Desert, make a fabulous day trip from Las Vegas and offers a dramatic and refreshing contrast to the buzz of the city.



A day trip to the Valley of Fire from Las Vegas

When the bright lights and craziness of Las Vegas have burnt you out; when you’re done with the bells and whistles of the casinos and the neon lights of The Strip are indelibly etched into your mind’s eye it’s time to strike out and see a different side of Nevada. Take a day tour from Las Vegas to the Valley of Fire State Park.

Valley of Fire State Park

Just 50 miles North East of Las Vegas you’ll find a startlingly different world from The Strip. The sun highlights a landscape ablaze with colour; russet-red, ochre and amber. It’s a landscape of rock arches, domes and colourful vistas shaped and contoured by wind, water and weather.

Vibrant layered sandstones, shales and fault lines in the rock form the varied and fascinating landscape of The Valley of Fire State Park.

After entering the state park and passing through a rippling red terrain, the result of continuous faulting and soil erosion, we came to our first stop at The Beehives. The large sandstone structures, subjected to years of erosion by wind and water, have formed into unusual beehive shapes.

Beehive rock formation


Atlatl Rock and Petroglyphs

The next stop on our Valley of Fire tour was Atlatl Rock – atlatls are ancient weapons that preceded the bow and arrow in many parts of the world and are one of man’s first mechanical inventions.

We climbed up a metal staircase attached to the rock to view some ancient petroglyphs thought to be over 4000 years old carved by native American cultures. There were symbols that looked like footprints, trees, water and long-horned animals.

The photo of the petroglyphs below is just behind Atlatl Rock and show up the carvings more clearly. There are many areas throughout the state park where petroglyphs can be seen and we also took a short hike up a canyon trail later in the tour where we spotted more. Our guide was very into petroglyphs.

Petroglyphs in Valley of Fire State Park


Valley of Fire Cabins

Three cabins, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps soon after the Valley of Fire became a state park in 1935 , are for travellers visiting the park. There’s a picnic area nearby where we stopped for lunch and saw some ground squirrels skorting around. The cute little creatures know where to go for easy pickings. There are many trails in the Valley of Fire and camping facilities for staying overnight.

The Cabins, Valley of Fire


Rainbow Vista, Valley of Fire

Rainbow Vista is a very different viewpoint from the red terrain you can see as you enter the Valley of Fire. The road here reaches the top of a low ridge looking out for many miles over a vast area of multi-coloured rocks. The road gives an idea of the scale of the area.

Rainbow Vista, Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire State Park


Balanced Rock, Valley of Fire

Just a short hike from the visitor centre is a famous Valley of Fire formation – Balanced Rock. How the top boulder stays balanced on the rest of the stack I’ll never know but I’m guessing it won’t be long before the balance tips.

Balanced Rock at Valley of Fire
Pink Jeeps at Valley of Fire


Where is the Valley of Fire?

The Valley of Fire State Park is about 50 miles north-east of Las Vegas in the Mojave desert, Nevada.

Entrance Fees for Valley of Fire?

The current entrance fee to the Valley of Fire is $10.00 per car ($15.00 for Non-NV Vehicles). Camping is an additional $20.00+ $10.00. RV sites with power and water hookups are available on a first come first served basis.

Visitor Centre

The visitor centre is open 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM each day with exhibits on the area’s history, geology and wildlife.

How to get to the Valley of Fire from Las Vegas

Directions from Las Vegas to Valley of Fire: Take I-15 (NE) to SR-169 South (exit 93)

Valley of Fire Map

Click here for a PDF map showing the Valley of Fire highlights, hiking trails, parking, camping and picnic areas.

We visited at the end of April and it was HOT! Take a hat, plenty of water and sunscreen.


Valley of Fire

The Travelbunny Summer Update | The Travelbunny

Sunday 12th of July 2015

[…] saw me finish up my Las Vegas posts with a visit to The Valley of Fire.  It’s a fantastic way to get beyond Vegas and explore some of the Nevada desert. Did you […]

Suzanne Jones

Wednesday 8th of July 2015

I hope they have a great visit to Vegas

Emily Ray

Sunday 28th of June 2015

So gorgeous! My friend and I are going to Vegas in November, and we have a spare day to plan. I'd love to go here, it just looks so out of this world! x

Suzanne Jones

Sunday 28th of June 2015

It's a fab trip and really good to see a different side of Vegas. Enjoy!

Marc Jasin

Thursday 11th of June 2015

Those images are impressive and I would love to go there. Last two trips to Vegas I missed the Valley of fire but I am planing on revisiting this fall so I can enjoy it. Again great pictures Suzanne.

Suzanne Jones

Thursday 11th of June 2015

It's really easy to visit The Valley of Fire from Vegas and perfect for a day-trip from the city. Hope you get there later this year :)

Johanna Bradley

Monday 18th of May 2015

You can keep Vegas, Suze- I'll just have this one! What a stunner! I love it :)

Suzanne Jones

Monday 18th of May 2015

It was so quiet out there too Jo - such a contrast to the city :)

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