Valley of Fire State Park is not hard to get to – only about 90km’s from the bright lights of Las Vegas. If you are picking your camper up in Vegas it could be a great first stop. It will really get your road-trip off to smashing start.
How to get there from Las Vegas
You have the choice of entering the Valley of Fire S.P. from either the Western gate, but a little tip, the drive to the Eastern gate is far prettier. For the Eastern Entrance – Take East Lake Mead Blvd out of Vegas and head up the Northshore Road, it’s about 100km and takes 1hr 15mins. The Western gate – is closer and more direct on the I-15 north from Vegas and then 65 kms later turn off at exit 75 onto the Valley of Fire Hwy, all up you will be there in under an hour.
Visitor Centre – The first thing you should always do in National and State Parks especially ones of such significance, like the Valley of Fire, is to head straight to the Visitor Centre. Spend some time here and learn about the geological formation and the cultural history of the park.
The important things to see in the Valley of Fire State Park
Mouse’s Tank Scenic Road – If you’re like me the first question is ‘where did that name come from?’. Little Mouse was a Paiute Indian in the 1890’s who was being hunted for allegedly killing two prospectors, he hid out in this part of the Moapa Valley successfully for a few years until he was caught and unfortunately killed. As you drive down this iconic road you will understand how he successfully evaded capture for so long. The road itself winds through the canyons of the Valley of Fire’s red and pink sandstone formations, with great stopping points along the way. The road is only 9km long, starting at the Visitors Centre, stop at the Rainbow Vista for photo’s from the parking lot or do the the short walk to the Fire Canyon Overlook (1.5km loop)
Seven Wonders and Fire Wave Trail – is the one trail that you should definitely walk it’s the longest and the supposedly the hardest. The reality is its 3.7km loop and rated easy. At the end of the Mouse’s Tank Rd you will have a scenic drive to a fabulous walk that covers sandstone slot canyons, the Fire Wave and Petroglyph’s.
Elephant Rock – close to the eastern park entrance, it’s just a 1 km loop to one of the most famous sites in the park.
Petroglyph’s – You will find ancient drawings all over the park but at Atlatl there is a platform that takes you close to the most extensive collection.
Arch Rock – 2km loop hike.
Campgrounds – There are 2 campsites in the park, both are near the western entrance and in the Atlatl and Arch Rock area. You can’t book, it’s a first come first serve basis. There is a dumping station but there are no shops so you need to take your food in with you.
Dark Skies – Nevada is one of the best states for star gazing. Although, Valley of Fire is not a recognized Dark Sky Park its still remote enough for you to enjoy glorious night skies.
Temperatures – Summer 26 – 40 degrees Celsius. Winter 3 – 14 degrees Celsius. Best months to visit April, May, June. and September, October and November.