One of the most beautiful and underrated places I visited last year was Valley of Fire state park, located just one hour north of Las Vegas. It was a last minute add onto a Utah road trip I was finishing up, as we were on our way back to fly out of Sin City. I wish we would have had more time to hike and explore, but we swung through just as the sun was dipping below the horizon and ended up capturing some of my favorite photographs of all of 2018. There’s a reason why they call this place Valley of Fire — as the sun hits the alien-like rock formations throughout the park, the Aztec sandstone lights up beautifully and becomes mesmerizing with rich warm tones.
If you have any trips planned to Las Vegas or southern Utah in the near future, don’t miss this hidden gem just a short drive away. Scroll below for some quick tips for visiting the area plus instructions on how to get to the Valley of Fire from Las Vegas.
HOW TO GET TO THE VALLEY OF FIRE FROM LAS VEGAS
This beautiful Nevada state park is in easy striking distance from Las Vegas, but it seems that not that many visitors to the state’s party mecca even know it exists just an hour drive away. Shocking, right? To get to the Valley of Fire State Park from Las Vegas, follow these directions based on a central location from The Strip driving towards the park’s visitor’s center:
Driving Directions to Valley of Fire from Las Vegas (56 miles, 1 hour 4 minute drive):
- Start on S Las Vegas Blvd, heading towards Flamingo Rd
- Turn on Flamingo Rd heading West towards the I-15 freeway
- Take the ramp onto I-15 heading North
- Keep left to stay on I-15 North for about 33 miles
- Take exit 75 towards Valley of Fire E/Lake Mead
- Merge onto Valley of Fire Hwy and continue for 18 miles
- Turn left onto Mouse’s Tank Rd
- Continue straight and then you’ll soon take a right at the Valley of Fire visitor’s center
Quick Facts Before You Visit Valley of Fire State Park:
- The park was established in 1935 and is open daily from sunrise to sunset
- The day use entrance fee is $10 and $20 per night for camping
- Length of stay: It is possible to drive through the park and witness its beauty in a couple of hours, but to fully enjoy the natural landscape you’ll want to spend a full day here
- Bring plenty of water especially if you’re hiking as this is a dry, desert climate
- The park consists of 40,000 acres of Aztec sandstone as well as stunning limestone formations. Visitors to the park can also witness 2,000 year old petroglyphs and petrified trees and stunning geology throughout
- There is no permit required for hiking and dogs are allowed on leash! Check out the Valley of Fire hiking map before you go
- The roads are pretty well paved and maintained throughout the park so you don’t need a special vehicle to access
Best Things to Do in The Valley of Fire
- Go hiking! There are plenty of options with varying levels of difficulty. Leave No Tracy has a great post about the best hikes in Valley of Fire
- Camp overnight and witness beautiful sunsets and sunrises right inside the park
- Test your photography skills (as you can see from these photos, this park is ripe with opportunity)!
- Take your dog for an epic walk — dogs are allowed on leash!
- Visit ancient petroglyphs
- Check out some of the top highlights in the park including: the Fire Wave, Elephant Rock, Pink Canyon and the White Domes hike
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