Valley of Fire State Park – Road Trip from Las Vegas

If you’re taking a trip to Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire State Park should be on your list! Just under an hour from the strip, the Valley of Fire is perfect for a day trip or it makes a great start or end to a road trip based out of Las Vegas. It was the last stop of my four-day southwestern solo road trip through southern Utah and northern Arizona that originated and ended in Las Vegas.

How to get there

Map to Valley of Fire from Las Vegas
Google Maps screenshot from Las Vegas to Valley of Fire State Park

The Valley of Fire State Park is just over 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas in Overton, Nevada. It is located in the Mojave Desert. You can take a more direct route on Interstate 15 to reach the park in just under an hour or add a half hour onto your travel time by taking a scenic route through Lake Mead recreational area.

2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL S-SWC in Valley of Fire State Park

Mitsubishi hooked me up with their new 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL S-SWC. It was the perfect road trip vehicle with assisted cruise control (the car practically drove itself). The keyless push to start feature was super convenient for the frequent stops I made to explore the park and pull over to take photos. By keeping the key in my pocket the duration of my time in the park, I was able to hop in and out of the car with ease.

Mitsubishi Eclipse in Valley of Fire
Admiring the view from the dual pane panoramic sunroof in the Mitsubishi Eclipse

I was also able to take in more sights with the dual pane panoramic sunroof. And doesn’t the red diamond look gorgeous among the Valley of Fire’s red rocks?!

If you don’t have your own vehicle or rent a car, you can also take a day tour. Although I highly recommend the convenience of having your own set of wheels to explore at your own pace.

Valley of the Fire logistics

Mitsubishi Eclipse in Valley of FIre
$10 per vehicle to enter the park

The Valley of Fire costs $10 per vehicle to enter.

When you pay to enter, you’ll be given a small paper map of the park that you can use as a guide. I found that I had little to no cell service in the park so the old school paper map came in handy.

The state park is open from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you are camping, you are granted 24 hour access to the park, which starts at $20 a campsite.

The visitor center is open from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Brief History

Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire – hike to Fire Wave

The Valley of Fire is Nevada’s first state park, which first opened in 1934 and was officially established as a state park in 1935. The park’s name comes from the red sandstone formations (called Aztec Sandstone) which are nestled in tan and gray limestone mountains. The Valley of Fire spans nearly 46,000 acres. The park is also home to petroglyphs (more on that later).

What to do in the Valley of Fire

Scenic drive through the Valley of Fire
Driving through the Valley of Fire

Drive through the Valley of Fire and make frequent stops to enjoy the scenery! Get out and explore your surroundings, there are many attractions to see and can’t miss spots are highlighted below. Take marked trails to go on walks and hikes. And of course, take lots of photos! The park is extremely photogenic.

Scenic Drive Valley of Fire
Scenic drive through Valley of Fire

Keep an eye out for wildlife on the road and on your hikes. Big horn sheep are a common sight in the park. I was driving through the park and saw many cars pulled over what seemed to be randomly, but I quickly realized what the commotion was about and pulled over to get a closer look at the big horned sheep. I originally thought they were mountain goats but the park’s website informed me otherwise.

Big horn sheep
Big horn sheep on the side of the road in the Valley of Fire
Big horn sheep
Keep your eye out for big horn sheep

Fire Wave

Fire Wave
Fire Wave

If you have time for just one hike in the Valley of Fire, make sure it is to the Fire Wave! It is a relatively short walk covering 1.5 miles roundtrip, on red sand and over sliprock. The hike is accessible from Parking Lot 3.

Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs Atlatl Rock
Petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock

You can view Native American petroglyphs (ancient drawings carved into rocks) at a few spots throughout the park.

Stairs to climb up Atlatl Rock
Stairs to climb up Atlatl Rock

The best viewpoint for petroglyphs and views in general is Atlatl Rock. Park at the Atlatl Rock picnic area and climb to the top of the staircase, which provides a great view alongside petroglyphs.

Petroglyph viewing point Atlatl Rock
Petroglyph viewing point at the top of Atlatl Rock

Other attractions

I found a heart shaped rock that isn’t publicized as one of the “rocks shaped like things” (such as Elephant Rock and Arch Rock) but it was right across from “the Cabins” and I think it looks like a heart. Does anyone else see it or is it just me? Pretty soon it will be on the official park map as the “Heart shaped rock” discovered by Krista. 😉

Heart shaped rock
Unofficial heart shaped rock

The Seven Sisters is a publicized attraction with a parking lot. There are also picnic tables at the Seven Sisters, it is a great place to stop and have a snack or meal (I ate my leftover pizza there haha).

Some of the Seven Sisters rock formations
Some of the Seven Sisters rock formations

Other popular hikes in the park are the trail to the White Domes and the hike to Rainbow Vista. There are also several petrified logs to visit. I had limited time in the park before sunset so I did not visit these attractions.

What to bring to the Valley of Fire

View from Fire Canyon
View from Fire Canyon
  • Vehicle – the easiest way to get around is to drive
  • Water bottle
  • Walking shoes
  • Camera
  • Snacks or meal – depending on your length of stay, you might need lunch or dinner, or maybe just a snack. There are several scenic areas with picnic tables and garbage cans.
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Portable charger
  • Backpack
  • Jacket (depending on time of year) – make sure to check the weather forecast before you depart, it can be scorching hot in the summer or you can be hit with sporadic rain

Valley of Fire Summary

Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park
  • Just over 50 miles from Las Vegas – less than 1 hour on Interstate 15 or 1.5 hours through Lake Mead recreational area
  • $10 entrance fee per vehicle
  • Hours: Sunrise – Sunset, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • Visitor center hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Don’t miss the Fire wave & petroglyphs at Atlatl Rock!

*In full transparency to my readers, I partnered with Mitsubishi for this blog post. I only collaborate with companies I love and hope you’ll love too!

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13 thoughts on “Valley of Fire State Park – Road Trip from Las Vegas

  1. That red car nearly matches the red rocks perfectly! We’ve hiked a fair bit in the Southwest, but never to the Valley of Fire. Thanks for the inspiration! Love all the formations, and so awesome that they have stairs leading up to the petroglyphs to hopefully protect them from human erosion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all, that car is FIRE! I’ve never even heard of this national park before, and I have dreams of re-visiting Vegas, but doing a road trip in the area, so I can put this on my list now! It seems like you were able to discover a lot of things on your own without having to plan every single detail (heart shaped rock and the big horned sheep.) Those moments always make for a memorable trip. I completely nerded out over the petroglyphs! I wonder what th e significance was? Looks like a magical experience! – Stephanie (FTB)

    Like

  3. I love, love, love this post! How great that it’s an incredible destination nearby Las Vegas. In fact, I don’t love that city, but this would be such a wonderful alternative to gambling and drinking if I ever do go back!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your pictures are so beautiful, and this place does look amazing. I am planning a trip to Las Vegas this summer and I am definitely going to add this to my list of places to visit. How much time did you wind up spending in the park?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I ended up spending about four hours in the park, although I wish I had more time to go on a couple more hikes. I’ve heard it can be extremely hot in the summer though so I would check the forecast before going (it’s called the Valley of Fire after all haha).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, this sounds like an epic road trip. And that is the perfect car for those adventurous roads! I’ve never heard of this park before, but it’s now on my (super long) list. Being so close to the city, it’s definitely the perfect escape to the craziness of Vegas!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love it when people show that there is so much more to Las Vegas than just the Vegas strip. The terrain here is gorgeous and it looks like you had fun with your little Mitsubishi!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You got some great wildlife shots! Way too many spots on the west coast that I have to make my way too – hopefully, sooner rather than later. Had to be so cool coming across Petroglyphs.

    Liked by 1 person

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