Valley Of Fire State Park!
Short 45 mile drive from Last Vegas Strip
Easy Hiking Trails 1 3 miles long
A photographers wonderland
Can see most of the park from your car
Informative visitor center.
Hot during June, July and August
No food available for purchase
Are you looking for that memorable event while on vacation in Las Vegas? Something you and the family will talk about for years to come that wont cost you alot of money Something out of the ordinary Do you want to walk around a landscape depicted as Mars in the movie Total Recall, or the alien planet that Captain Kirk died on in the movie Star Trek Generations Or how about posing for photographs and home movies on weird rock formations that friends and family back home will envy.
Well, I have the place for you – Valley Of Fire State Park, near Overton Nevada. Its an easy drive from the Las Vegas Strip. Take Interstate 15 North for 35 miles. Get off at Exit 75. There you will see the only combo convenience store/gas station/casino/smoke shop within miles. Stop there. Go inside. Purchase your drinks and snacks for the day. Your kids will get a kick out of the vast supply of fireworks inside the store.
From there, continue another 12 miles down Valley of Fire Road to the park entrance. Park admission is $10 per car. Last week, while at a conference in Las Vegas, I took my family to Valley of Fire. It was our third visit. This time we spent 6 hours in the park. The weather will probably dictate the length of your visit. Conditions last week were perfect Sunny, mild, 80 degree temperatures. Years ago, we visited the park during the summer months when temperatures were in the 120s. That visit only lasted 2 hours and most of it consisted of driving around in an air conditioned car. Both experiences were great.
After 3 trips to the area, we came up with a great recommended route to share with you. Here it is:
The Beginning of the White Domes Trail, Valley of Fire State Park
As an added bonus there is a small slot canyon on the White Domes Trail. This slot is your money shot, your Kodak Moment. You will want to walk through it several times admiring the high rock walls that carve a narrow canyon path that is no wider than 24 inches in some places. Sure there are better and longer slot canyons throughout the Southwest, but this is the closet to Las Vegas. Coming from Colorado, it satisfied our expectations as we explored it over and over again.
This hike will take you 60-90 minutes depending on how many times you stop to take pictures and relish the scenery.
(4) Mouses Tank located just a mile drive from Fire Canyon, Mouses Tank is a short 1/2 mile easy trail. The end of trail rewards you with a breathtaking view of the backside of Fire Canyon. This hike should take a leisurely 45 minutes round trip.
(5) Drive another 1 miles from Mouse Tank back to the Visitor Center to use the facilities one more time. Dont forget to stock up on liquids.
(6) From the visitor center, drive east 3 miles to see Elephant Rock. Heres a secret, you can actually see Elephant Rock from the road. Have your kids look for it really hard. Its located on the left side of the road, about 300 yards before the Elephant Rock parking lot. If you are pressed for time, just view it from the car as you drive by. Its easy to miss. Or you can pull into the Elephant Rock parking lot and hike 300 yards to Dumbo. My son thinks Elephant Rock looks more like one of the At-At Walkers from the Empire Strikes Back movie. You decide.
(7) Next, double back towards the western park entrance where you originally entered and view the Arch Rock and Petroglyphs. Again, a great area to take photos of vast desert vistas. If you want to mimick Clark Griswald from National Lampoons Vacation movie where hes lost in the desert wearing his pants on his head.. this is the place. Makes for good family fun when posting those vacation photos on Facebook. Putting your pants on your head is optional.
Thats it. Thats our trip recommendations and tips when you Valley of Fire. If you are trying to choose between Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire. Valley of Fired gets our vote hands down.
Tell us about your experience to the Valley of Fire.