Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire just an hour drive from Las Vegas is quite popular. The winter time is the quietest. Best light for photography at sunrise and early morning as well as later in the afternoon and during sunset. If you plan to visit the park come here for the entire day and bring your lunch in a cooler.
Weather / Climate
The summer is boiling with daytime temperatures ranging from 38°C / 100°F to 49°C / 120°F. Thunderstorms and heavy showers can occur. The winter is mild with pleasant temps up to 24°C/ 75°F and freezing nights. Occasionally rain can occur during this time of the year. The best seasons to visit the desert are spring and autumn.
Busier during the best weather conditions in spring and fall, especially from February to late May. Both campgrounds are filled up before midday. Weekends are more crowded than weekdays. Less busy in the summer; many visitors want to avoid the boiling heat during the daytime. The winter is also an option to enjoy the scenery almost alone. Anyhow, it’s a State Park and not a National Park, therefore often underestimated. Limited parking at all stops: Arrive either early (before 9 a.m.) or late (after 6 p.m.) during the peak season.
Opening Hours for the Valley of Fire State Park and Visitor Center
The park is open from sunrise to sunset and the Visitor Center from 8.30 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. It's a small but nice visitor center. They provide you with information about the history and a map as well. A short film about the State Park is shown.
Highlight During Spring
In spring several plants like the desert marigold, indigo bush or desert mallow are in full bloom.
Pay attention to the speed limit; the Hwy is frequently patrolled!!
Accommodations Nearby in Las Vegas
Due to the close proximity to Las Vegas, many day-trippers come to the Valley of Fire. Even if you don't plan to camp here, it's worth to drive one hour. Vegas offers all types of accommodations; here is a list of the Top 10 Hotels in Las Vegas. Bookmark the link to get the best rates for your stay.
The Valley of Fire is the oldest Nevada State Park established in 1935. It is famous for bright red Aztec sandstone formations and petroglyphs. Rock art from a prehistoric culture can be found at several locations within the park like Atlatl Rock dated back 2.500 years ago. The landscape is very scenic with incredible rock formations and narrow slot canyons. The Nevada Scenic Byway leads through the park which offers plenty of hikes for all levels. Very popular are Balancing Rock, Elephant Rock, and Arch Rock. Take lots of water for hiking.
Don’t miss the Fire Wave close to the road. The trail is less than 2 km / 1.5 miles long.
Fire Wave location at Google Maps
- Don’t miss the driving loop around the campgrounds with some of the most magnificent arches.
- The White Domes Loop Trail leads through a short slot canyon.
- Another highlight are the petroglyphs.
- Rock climbing is possible; please register at the Information Center first.
The State Park is a popular filming location well known from different movies like Star Trek Generations, Transformers, Airwolf, Total Recall, Viva Las Vegas and more.
Entrance fee: $ 10 per car
There are two campgrounds beautiful located in the Valley of Fire National Park. Both are on a first come first serve basis and are equipped with flush toilets and coin-operated showers. Each site has a sheltered picnic table, BBQ, and firepit. Bring all supplies there is nothing available inside the park. Check in with a simple form plus the entrance fee in cash and put the envelope into a drop box.
The campgrounds are busy in spring, fall and at weekends. It’s recommended to arrive at midday. Weekdays are less crowded, and you can choose one of the different sites. Summer is less busy because of the heat, often around 100°F / 38°C.
Highlight: Star gazing at night
Atlatl Rock Campground:
Picturesquely located at red sandstone formations where stairs are leading to the top with a spectacular view. This campground has 43 sites, some with water and power hook-ups, some are basic.
Arch Rock Campground:
More primitive campground and smaller with 29 sites.
Pictures provided by Chris