Hike the Pinnacle Loop in the Valley of Fire

Added by Derrick Lytle

Hike through this serene state park an hour northeast of Las Vegas and explore awesome sandstone formations. 

Pinnacle Loop is an unmaintained poorly marked trail leading to a cluster of sandstone towers, hidden close to some of the more popular areas of the Valley of Fire like Atlatl Rock and a campground.

Getting TherePinnacle Loop shares the same trailhead as the popular Atlatl Rock picnic area and petroglyphs. To get to this trail heading from Las Vegas, take the I-15 north towards Salt Lake City and take exit 75. You'll see a gas station and firework store at the exit. Get gas, water, snacks etc. here then follow the signs that point toward The Valley of Fire. Pay the $10 ($8 if you're a Nevada resident. National Park passes are not valid, sorry) and follow the signs to the Atlatl Campground and picnic area. At the picnic area you'll find some restrooms, grills, and some stairs that go to a huge panel of petroglyphs. Check them out!

The trail starts on the other side of the road where you drive in. Cross the main road and you'll see a small skinny white sign that has some info about the trail. Follow the signs that are placed in the wash. After about 1 3/4 miles you'll see the pinnacles on your right. Follow the trail in to the sandstone jungle and go explore!

To exit, follow the faint trail through the pinnacles and exit through the wash. Follow the signs to complete the loop and to end up at the parking lot. Most of the trail on the loop is faint and hard to follow so keep your eyes open for the small signs that mark the trail. The loop ends up being about 4.5 miles but scrambling around on the sandstone will add extra time and distance. The trail is fairly runnable but includes lots of rocks, sand, and cactus not to mention trying to follow the trail signs so you won't be setting any PRs out here.

Keep your eyes open for the park's Bighorn Sheep!

Approaching the parking lot for Atlatl Rock there is an RV dump station that also has clean drinking water. This is your last place to fill up so be sure to top off your bladders and bottles here as there is no water on the trail and summers get brutally hot.

Camping in the park is only $20 a night and that includes park entry so I recommend making a two day trip and seeing the rest of the park as well.

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Tags

Photography
Running
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Awesome Rock Features and Isolation

The pinnacles area was really fun to hike around and much more picturesque than I expected. The best part is that there was no one else on the trail. The only downside is that there are not consistent trail markers and we missed a turn so ended up doing a longer hike (linked up with the Prospect trail).

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