The Valley of Fire State Park was created in 1935 and is appropriately named for its bright red sandstone formations which are surrounded by a grey/tan mountain range. This park is located off of highway 169 and is easily accessible if you are visiting Vegas or the surrounding area. This park is great as an addition to a road trip or if you are looking for some short, gentle and gorgeous hikes.
This state park has two campgrounds, which are first come – first served. This creates 72 sites total and both campgrounds have bathrooms, showers and water available. Since this is only about an hour from Vegas, it is an awesome option for camping if you are looking to escape the city.
White Domes Hike – 1 miles, loop, easy
This route has a unique slot canyon along it which definitely brings a new and dramatic perspective of the park. This loop also has sandstone stairs, surrounding natural walls and eventually leads down to a basin in the valley. This is a great hike if you only have a short amount of time to spend in the park.
Fire Wave Trail – ~1.3 miles, out and back, easy
This trail is fun, new, and allows for more exploration of the park that wasn’t always available. If you have older maps, then this trail may not appear because it is a newer addition to the park. This is a hike that shows the gorgeous stripes that are created in the sandstone after years of slow and steady water erosion, followed with carving of the stone by the wind as it moves through. I highly recommend this short and worthwhile hike if you have time!
Pinnacles Loop – 4.5 miles, moderate, flat, loop
The Pinnacles Loop is unmaintained compared to the other trails in the area and it is harder to follow, so be sure to have a map while exploring this section of the park. Don’t let this information intimate you. This is a very scenic, intimate, and picturesque hike that is worth the time. It is also a great option if you are looking for more mileage or wilderness. Many people have also spotted bighorn sheep off of this trail, so keep your eyes open!
Rainbow Vista Trail – 1 mile, easy, out and back
This short 1 mile trail is named for its variety of coloration and beauty. This is a sandy and soft trail, which is great for people with bad knees or joint issues. If you are visiting during the spring or early summer then you will most likely see various wildflowers blooming along this trail, which is a gorgeous sight against the sandstone coloration.
Mouses Tank – .7 mile, easy, out and back
Mouses Tank is full of surprises, from petroglyphs, canyons and history, to the end of the trail, which leads to a water catchment area (although it may not have water depending on rainfall/season). This is a short hike that is full of interesting things to see and interact with. I recommend checking this trail out and be sure to read the education signs for more about the petroglyphs.
The drive through the park itself is gorgeous and worth the time. This roadway highlights the vastness of the park, along with the distinct coloration that exists in this area of the desert.
There are many more hikes in this park and there is great information and a high quality map on the state parks website. These hikes were a few that I personally was able to explore and that I felt were the best representation for what this area has to offer.