State Parks: Valley of Fire

Another annual trip to Las Vegas…

Which means another opportunity to explore the desert! This time, we went out to the local state park: Valley of Fire. Every year I get asked if I’ve been out there, so finally I decided to make the trip to see what all the kerfuffle was about.

panorama

Last year I flew out to L.A. so I could stop through Joshua Tree on the way to Vegas. I really love the desert!

Read on to see why you too should make this a day trip while visiting Las Vegas.

Valley of Fire

This year I am super excited to have Brad in-tow. He has not been able to explore Vegas like I have and I made it a point to let him know that we would be venturing outside the casinos!

Valley of State Fire is about 30-45 mins North of Las Vegas, you will need a car to get there.

I highly suggest stopping at the gas station right at the corner of Highway 15 and Valley of Fire Highway. Grab yourself some treats to take with you and if you wish so, fireworks to pop off before or after the park (but please pick up after yourself, it’s rude to litter). We opted out of fireworks.

The park is fairly small and can be completed in a half-day, if desired. Knowing that we had to be back in town by 5:30 pm, we picked a main spot to spend a majority of time and left the rest up to the clock.

Valley-of-Fire-Map.jpg

If you are fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day when you go, keep an eye on the sky as you drive along Valley of Fire Hwy. The clouds turns a beautiful pink hue from the red rocks.

Pink clouds in Valley of State Fire

Be careful entering the park as there’s likely a chance you’ll see some horned sheep and other wildlife along the roadside. Valley of Fire reminded me of Arches National Park’s entrance with the grandiose red rocks towering above and behind the park’s welcome center.

big horn sheep

Drive all the way to the end of the park and work your way forward, it’s the best way to view the park and to walk through the “wave” with minimal crowds.

wave-trail.jpg

The wave is a tinier version of that in Arizona and minus the need for permits. It’s a short hike to get to it and worth the view. I’ve heard its best seen at sunrise or sunset, but if you can’t make it out there during those times, you won’t be disappointed!

The wave was our focal point for this park, we wandered past the wave and down a sand river path. Brad and I wanted to continue off the beaten path, but decided to head back in so we could see a bit more of the park. On the way back we hiked up the side of the rocks to sit and enjoy a snack with a view.

wave

wave-close-up.jpg

Honestly, I am very surprised more people don’t come out here to take photos (engagements, apparel ad, etc.). Like Joshua Tree, the landscape here is otherworldly.

As we leisurely drove back up to the Welcome center, we took in all the views of the park. There are tons of places to stop and park to go out for a hike, but there are not many options for actual trails here.

The welcome center is filled with useful information about the park and it’s wildlife*. *note that there are tons of snakes in the park during summer months.

Whether you plan to make it a full or half day trip. Put Valley of Fire on your “To-Do” list for Las Vegas!

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