The Valley of Fire located less than an hour drive from Las Vegas is one of my favorite places to hike and camp.
When you drive down the highway you would never guess that down the road is an amazing geological area that has offers visitors camping, hiking, geological points of interest, picnic areas, and more!!!
Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire Overview
Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and nature preservation area covering nearly 46,000 acres (19,000 ha) located 16 miles (26 km) south of Overton, Nevada.
The state park derives its name from red sandstone formations, the Aztec Sandstone, which formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park’s attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays.
It is Nevada’s oldest state park, as commemorated with Nevada Historical Marker #150. It was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968.
Valley of Fire Location
Where is the Valley of Fire?
Valley of Fire is located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, at an elevation of 1,320–3,009 feet.
Located within a 4 x 6 mile basin, it abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the east at the Virgin River confluence.
How to Get to the Valley of Fire
Depending on your starting point, the Valley of Fire is approximately a one hour drive from Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, take I-15N to exit 75 to merge onto the Valley of Fire Road.
Valley of Fire Visitor Center
Stop by the Valley of Fire Visitor Center to view exhibits on the geology, ecology, prehistory, and history of the park and the nearby region.
The visitor center is easily seen as soon as you turn off the Valley of Fire Highway onto Mouse’s Tank Road.
If you have your Nevada State Park Passport booklet, be sure to stop by the visitor center and get your stamp. Click here to find out where you can grab a copy of the Nevada State Park Passport booklet for free. (If you collect all 15 Nevada State Park stamps, you can turn your passport booklet in for a free annual pass!)
Visitor center information:
The visitor center is open daily from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
The rest of the park opens at sunrise and closes at sunset.
Phone: (702) 397-2088
Click here to view photos and more information on the Valley of Fire Visitor Center.
Valley of Fire Entrance Fee
The Valley of Fire entrance fee is $10 per car and there is no longer a Nevada state residence discount.
If you are a frequent Nevada State Park visitor, you should consider getting a Nevada State Park Annual Pass for $75 a year.
The Valley of Fire entrance fee is collected at the self-pay stations before the manned booths open or at the fee booth once during open hours.
Click here to view additional details for the Valley of Fire Entry Fee information.
Valley of Fire Map
Click here to view the Valley of Fire State Park Hikes .pdf.
Valley of Fire Petroglyphs
There is an abundance of petroglyphs at the Valley of Fire dating back to approximately 3,000 years ago.
Petroglyphs can be found in the following areas.
Valley of Fire Hiking
There are numerous hikes that vary from a few 0.3 miles to almost 7 miles.
Below are the official and unofficial hikes and points of interest within the Valley of Fire State Park.
Valley of Fire Trails
Balancing Rock – 0.3 miles
Cabins Arch Loop
Charlie’s Spring Loop – 4.7 miles
Elephant Rock Loop – 1.2 miles
Fire Canyon Wash
Fire Wave Trail (look for parking lot #3 on the map) – 1.2 miles round trip
Hidden Valley Loop
Mouse’s Tank Trail – 0.7 miles
Natural Arches Trail – 2..5 miles
Old Arrowhead Road – 6.8 miles
Pastel (Pink) Canyon Trail
Petrified Logs Loop, East – 0.3 miles
Petrified Logs, West
Petroglyph Canyon Trail to Mouse’s Tank – 0.8 miles
Piano Rock Trail – 0.7 miles
Pinnacles Loop – 4.5 miles
Prospect Trail – 4.6 miles
Rainbow Vista Trail – 1.0 miles
St. Thomas Trail
Top of the World
Upper Magnesium Wash
White Domes Loop – 1.0 miles
Valley of Fire Arches
There are many arches in the Valley of Fire State Park. Below are the ones which have been named and there are many which have not been named (or discovered).
Click here for more information about Valley of Fire arches.
Valley of Fire Points of Interest
Arch Rock: Amenities include restrooms and campground.
Atlatl Rock: Located near the west entrance of the Valley of Fire State Park you will find Atlatl Rock showcasing a collection of petroglyphs on large sandstone rocks.
Amenities include parking, restrooms, a very short trail to get to the petroglyphs, and a 43 site campground.
Click here to read the Atlatl Rock at the Valley of Fire overview.
Beehives: The Beehives are a formation created by geologic cross-bedding, which means the layers were deposited over the years to form the formation you see today.
The grooves in the “beehives” were formed when there was water or wind that moved the material as it was forming.
Click here to read the Beehives at the Valley of Fire overview.
John J. Clark Memorial: Look for the “historical Marker” sign when traveling on State Route 169 where you will find a turnout to park to view the monument approximately 150′ from the road to commemorate Sargent John J. Clark.
Click here to read the John J. Clark Memorial overview.
Lone Rock – Click here to read the Lone Rock at the Valley of Fire overview.
Piano Rock – Click here to read the Piano Rock at the Valley of Fire overview.
Poodle Rock – A rock formation resembling a poodle located near the Arch Rock Campground.
Click here to read more about Poodle Rock and photos.
Seven Sisters: Seven Sisters is a stop-off from the road and not a “hike.”
Consisting of seven tall red sandstone boulders, Seven Sisters is a great place to stop for a picnic and take in the scenic desert views.
There are several areas of covered and uncovered picnic tables and some of them have grills. To the right of the parking lot, there is a concrete walkway that will lead you to the restrooms.
FYI for those looking for a unique wedding photo location, Seven Sisters at Valley of Fire State Park is one of the four permitted wedding locations within the park. Amenities include parking, picnic area, restrooms, and is approved for wedding events (with proper permissions).
Click here to read the Seven Sisters at the Valley of Fire overview.
Silica Dome / Fire Canyon Overlook
The Cabins: The Valley of Fire was one of the earliest locations to have construction by the Civilian Conservation Corps by building three native sandstone cabins in 1934 for traveling tourists. Today, visitors can visit the preserved cabins to see a small cabin with a built-in fireplace and a window overlooking the valley.
Click here to read The Cabins at the Valley of Fire overview.
The Scream: Found at the Valley of Fire Visitor Center, the Scream is a rock formation that looks similar to the famous paintings by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.
Valley of Fire Wildlife
There are several herds of Bighorn Sheep that roam through the park. Often they are seen at the group campground, the visitors center, and various trails.
One of the cutest ground squirrels I have seen was near Atlatl Campground literally hanging out in the shrubs (or should I say on top).
Even though it’s in the middle of the desert, there are still gorgeous plants to be found everywhere.
Click here to read our article on Desert Wildlife at the Valley of Fire.
Valley of Fire Picnics
There are numerous places to relax after your hike and enjoy a picnic. Most are covered and have nearby amenities such was water spigot, trash cans, grills, and restrooms. Below are the areas with covered and/or uncovered picnic areas:
Balancing Rock (Visitors Center)
Mouse’s Tank Trail
Valley of Fire Camping
Valley of Fire Campground Details
All campsites are first-come-first-served. (The exception are the group camping site, which requires a reservation)
The campsites are equipped with shaded tables, grills, water, and restrooms.
A dump station and showers are available.
A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced.
RV sites with power and water hookups are available.
There are three group areas, each accommodating up to 45 people, though parking is limited. These sites are available for overnight camping and picnicking by reservation only. Call the park for reservations.
Day use entrance fee: $10.00 per vehicle
Camping: $20.00 per night + $10.00 for sites with utility hookups
Atlatl Rock Campground
There are 44 campsites at the Atlatl Rock Campground available on a first-come-first-served basis. Each campsite includes a picnic table, fire ring, bathrooms, showers, and drinking water… oh, and spectacular views. Some of the campsites offer partial RV hookups. Click here to read more about Atlatl Rock Campground.
Arch Rock Campground
Located within the Valley of Fire State Park, Arch Rock Campground has 29 campsites for tents and trailers. The campground is first-come-first-serve and you can stay up to 14 consecutive days. The campsites at Arch Rock are $20 per night + $10 per night for campsites with utility hookups. The campsites at Arch Rock include drinking water, flush toilets, showers, and an RV dump station. Each campsite has a shaded table, fire ring, and grate.
Click here to read more about the Arch Rock Campground.
Valley of Fire Hotels
If camping at Valley of Fire isn’t an option for you, there are many hotels near Overton, NV to choose from in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.
Click here to view Las Vegas hotels and the reviews for each on TripAdvisor.
Click here to view Las Vegas hotels and the reviews for each on Booking.com.
Click here to view Las Vegas hotels and the reviews for each on Hotels.com.
Click here to view Las Vegas hotels and the reviews for each on Expedia.com
Valley of Fire Weather
The Valley of Fire State Park has a dry and warm climate typical of the Mojave Desert in which it lies.
Winters are mild with daytime temperatures ranging from 54°F to 75°F and overnight lows in the mid 30°F’s to mid 40°F’s.
Storms moving east from the Pacific Ocean occasionally bring rain during winter months.
Daily summer highs usually range from 100°F to 115°F and on occasion may reach near 120°F.
Thunderstorms from the Southwestern Monsoon can produce heavy showers during summer.
The average annual precipitation is 6.50″.
Click here to read more about the Valley of Fire weather.
Valley of Fire Tours
If you want to visit Valley of Fire with a tour group instead of on your own there are several to chose from. When I was there May 2018, there was a couple from out of town with a private tour guide who I kept crossing paths on the different trails.
- Click here to view discounted Valley of Fire Tours on Groupon.
- Click here to view Valley of Fire Tours on TripAdvisor.
Valley of Fire Movie Trivia
Valley of Fire is a popular location for shooting automobile commercials and other commercial photography.
Click here to read more about the Valley of Fire movies.
It has provided a setting for the following films and television shows:
Viva Las Vegas starring Elvis Presley had multiple shots filmed in the park during the racing scenes for the film’s finale in 1963.
The Professionals with Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, and Claudia Cardinale was filmed in 1966. Valley of Fire was one of three locations used in the film. All that remains of the set is a portion of a rock wall of a hacienda.
The outside Mars scenes from Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, were almost totally shot in Valley of Fire.
The scenes from planet Veridian III from Star Trek Generations were filmed here in 1994. The Silica Dome is particularly highlighted for Star Trek fans as the site of iconic starship captain James T. Kirk’s death and burial.
Valley of Fire Events
Check out the Valley of Fire calendar of events to find fun events from birdwatching to how to make your own petroglyph.
Other Valley of Fire Info
Think twice before you launch your drone at Valley of Fire, click here to read about drones at Valley of Fire.
Did you stop and grab some really cool fireworks on your way to your Valley of Fire Visit? Click here to read our article on Valley of Fire Fireworks to learn where you can enjoy them.
Are you into stargazing? Click here to read about stargazing at Valley of Fire.
Bringing your furbaby with you to the park? Click here to read our article on Dogs at Valley of Fire.
Valley of Fire Online References and Resources
Valley of Fire State Park
I am an outdoor enthusiast who would rather be on a backcountry backpacking trip than a stroll on the beach (although I do love the beach!).
Living in Las Vegas has afforded me the opportunity to easily explore the Southwest region of the United States.
A nature lover, I am often found at the end of the pack taking photos and videos of the wildlife found on the trails. Colorful flowers, desert animals, and unusual geological rock formations are often the majority of my photos.