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An Overlooked Gem: "The Valley of Fire"

I was really surprised that this state park was completely empty when we visited it back in September 2015.

By: Moritz Wolf + Save to a List

This was by far one of most incredible places I've ever seen and my absolute favorite park on our trip. It's just a one hour drive from Las Vegas, so you can go there do it as a day trip if you are in Las Vegas. The landscape looks as if an artist has gone wild, the colors cover pink over purpel, red, orange and yellow and in some parts even turquoise! Ah and by the way...there are two campgrounds which are quite nice, but be aware in summer its hard to sleep as its quite hot even during the night. But thats what you have to do for some nice views, right?


Most of you will know The Wave rock formation in The Vermilion Cliffs National Park. And as some may also now it isn't that easy to get a permit for being allowed to hike to The Wave. But the Valley of Fire has its own Wave! Just a bit smaller than the other one, but it is still really awesome! A short trail from the parking lot at Mouse Tank's Road leads to the Fire Wave. As well you have good views of sandstone formations and wonderful desert landscape along the way. Come here in the evening for sunset for the best light!


If you visit in summer I would recommend to start your day as early as possible! Its just getting really hot during noon but in the morning the temperature is perfect. And maybe you stumble upon some desert tortoises on your way as they are most active during night and therefore are mostly seen in morning or evening. We were lucky to see two of them that day! The hike itself is short, you walk along colorful stone formations and through a short slot canyon. The colorful landscape provides some opportunities for wonderful pictures. This was one of our favorites, so don't miss it !


On this trail you get to now why it is called valley of FIRE. The sandstone along the way, the sand you walk on, everything is red and orange in color. The green bushes and a blue sky creates a high contrast. At the end of the short trail you have a nice few over the red sandstone canyon. The trail itself is easy and short and we could even walk it barefooted. :D


A well known sandstone formation in valley of Fire besides the Fire Wave is the elephant rock. We've seen many elephant rock formations on our trip but I would say that this one is the most elephant looking one. It is only a few meters from the parking lot and is also an interesting photo spot.


You guessed right! Its another rock formation :). Basically its seven big rocks lined up close to each other. You cant miss it as the road through the park is passing these stones.


There are even some Native American rock carvings at the "Atlatl Rock"...

Enjoy your time in the Valley of Fire and if you like have a look at my Instagram or website.

See ya out there!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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