Best Things To See And Do In The Valley Of Fire State Park

Here are the best things to see and do in Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park.

Valley of Fire State Park
Photo by Elizabeth Villalta on Unsplash

The Valley of Fire State Park is a remarkable sight. Dark red rocks dot the landscape, looking like little tongues of flame licking up the tinder-dry desert while orange and white stripes streak cliffs with swirls that rise and fall with the rolling of the buttes. From long hikes along dusty red paths to steep climbs up rocks etched with petroglyphs, here are the best things to see and do in Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park.

Fire Wave

Fire Wave
Fire Wave. Facebook: Dave Coppedge

The poetic incongruity of a blazing red rock rising into the air like a tidal surge at the seashore gives the monstrous Fire Wave formation a perplexing mystique as it towers over the sparse vegetation of the valley. Head down the 0.8-mile Seven Wonders Trail for beautiful vistas of rosy pink rock pillars, then continue onto the 1.5-mile Fire Wave Trail to soak in the best views of this sandstone spire bordered by barren bluffs. Keep in mind you will be hiking in full sun across loose sand, so bring plenty of water and knock these hikes out early in the day when it is coolest.

Atlatl Rock

Atlatl Rock
Atlatl Rock. Facebook: Amit Maitra

Climb up this immense red-orange rock via a narrow staircase whose rusty hue makes it look like a natural extension of Atlatl itself. Native peoples etched petroglyphs into the rock over 4,000 years ago — ancient artwork which is still visible today. To safeguard these fragments of history, visitors are asked not to touch, step on or deface Atlatl Rock in any way. Travelers should report any vandalism to the state park.

Find more ancient artwork in Petroglyph Canyon, a portion of the Valley of Fire where sandstone slabs serve as giant canvases which display a variety of carvings. Some enormous panels are up to 75 feet long and 25 feet high, covered with scores of markings. After exploring the canyon, make your way to Mouse’s Tank, a natural depression in the rock where rainwater accumulates throughout the year.

Rainbow Vista

Beehives. Facebook: Valley of Fire State Park

The Rainbow Vista overlook in the Valley of Fire is magnificent. Layers of neon orange rocks interspersed with snow-white stripes give way to colossal crags in the distance whose tan faces are illuminated by the golden glow of the sun. The pink and white swirling loops that cover immense walls of stone turn these formations into vibrant works of art, giving the whole valley a rosy hue. At sunset, wispy clouds floating lazily overhead take on the light red tint of the rocks below and the sky bursts a rainbow of colors, mirroring the incomparable valley whose breathtaking beauty gives the vista its name.

Take the moderate 1.1-mile White Domes Trail for phenomenal views of soaring rock faces which you can glimpse from the bottom of a narrow slot canyon. Then, make your way to the Beehives, giant domes of red rock whose conical structures seem to poke holes into the wispy white clouds moving lazily overhead.

Make the most of Nevada’s Valley of Fire state park when you visit these scenic attractions.

Hannah Larson

Contributing Editor

A southern California native, Hannah is a traveler and thrill seeker whose love of writing is matched only by her passion for adventure. From ziplining alongside Niagara Falls to paddleboarding in Lake Itasca, she is always on the lookout for exciting experiences in beautiful places. Her favorite national parks include the Great Smokies, Sequoia and Glacier because of the spectacular mountain views.

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