Short hike with a big reward in Valley of Fire State Park. No permit needed for this photographer's dream.

Once a secret unmarked location The Fire Wave has quickly become a huge draw for park visitors in The Valley of Fire. The hike to the sandstone wave is just over a half mile of sand and sandstone and it's worth every step.

While not as popular as The Wave in Utah the Fire Wave can be accessed without the need for a permit and provides equally stunning vistas.

The trail starts across the road from parking lot #3 on Mouse's Tank Rd. There's plenty of parking for RV's and vehicles but no water or restrooms nearby. Be prepared, in the summer it's deathly hot and there is no shade along the trail. Be sure to fill up at the visitor's center or the nearby gas station close to the East Entrance of the park.

Sunrise, sunset, and night time are all great for shooting The Fire Wave. Sunset is gorgeous but you'll have to get there early and set up to get the spot you want. The area is very popular. Night photography is also fun here although you'll be battling neon light pollution from Las Vegas and shooting between a constant stream of airplanes.

The short hike out to The Fire Wave is worth it year round and with so many good days of shooting weather in Southern Nevada this location is a must shoot.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Tripod
  • Camera
  • Snacks
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RT Distance 1.3 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Hot Hot Hot

I did this short out and back with my husband and father-in-law in some serious heat, but the views were definitely worth the sweat. Bring tons of water, a sun hat, sun protection, etc. and do heed the heat warnings. (We got back just as the hottest part of the day was starting and it was about 104 degrees).

Short hike with a cool hangout spot

One of the highlights of the Valley of Fire. The hike to the Fire Wave is easy and short. The Fire Wave itself is a unique piece of the desert with pleasant scenery all around it. It's worth hanging out for sunset and waiting around for the crowd it draws to filter out of area. Excellent place for photography.

Perfect Day Trip From Vegas

This is the perfect short hike just an hour from Vegas if you need an escape from the glitz and gambling. It's not THE WAVE but if you angle your shot just right you might fool some people!


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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