Day Trip from Las Vegas to Valley of Fire

Spectacular views, the coolest shaped and colored rocks ever, 3000 year-old Indian petroglyphs, and photo opportunities on every corner – this is what you can expect when you take a day trip from Las Vegas to Valley of Fire State Park. After 5 packed and eventful days at WPPI 2014 Conference and Expo my friend Patrycja (of Fig Tree Photography) and I decided to stay a couple of days longer and explore the world outside of the crowds, noise, lights and chaos of the Vegas Strip. Last year we loved our experience in Grand Canyon, this year we were ready for more adventure. Our first day trip was to Nevada’s oldest and largest state park – Valley of Fire. Just a little over an hour away from Vegas (via Interstate 15) the park is stunningly beautiful and peaceful. You first drive through a desert and then suddenly you are surrounded by amazing red rocks with unreal formations. It is photographer’s paradise (although I also think that the photographs can’t fully reflect the beauty).


We got a map of the park at the entrance and decided to visit all the sites marked on it. It seemed like the 5 hours we had to spend at the park would be more than enough. It turned out that the first 2 and a half just flew by climbing on rocks and exploring the wilderness just a mile from the west entrance. Wherever I looked I saw another awesome rock with a grotto, nooks, holes or cool columns. I felt bad my kids were not with me because they’d have a blast in that incredible place. Thankfully, Patricia took quite a few photos of me which captured the perspective and enabled me to share the brilliance AND the size of the formations with my kids.

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And here is a photo of both of us, thanks to the self-timer. 🙂


When we realized how long we stayed in this one spot we jumped in the car ready to speed up the sightseeing and… then had to park it about 100 yards away because of another stunning view:


The Valley of Fire has tons of unique rock formations and also plenty of rock art. The first petroglyphs we saw were at the Atlatl Rock. And then there were many more on rocks along the Petroglyph Canyon trail. These drawings were made by some ancient tribes about 3000 years ago. Nobody really knows now what they mean– but it’s a pretty cool feeling to look at this rock art and imagine prehistoric Indians drawing them thousands of years ago.

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After hiking the Petroglyph Canyon trail, we drove to the end of Mouse’s Tank Road where  we found another trail (White Domes). But we were too tired to hike it, and we also had to get back to Vegas. So instead of walking the trail we just made a few more stops along the way at the Fire Canyon, Rainbow Vista and the Beehives.

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Valley of Fire is definitely one of nature’s most beautiful masterpieces. So if you ever get to Las Vegas make sure to find some time to visit this breathtaking place. Remember to take comfortable walking shoes, some snacks or sandwiches and plenty of water and be ready for a treat. I promise you want regret it. 🙂

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4 Responses to “Day Trip from Las Vegas to Valley of Fire”
  1. Hello Ania, the Valley of Fire sure is awesome! I was just there recently and the three best places I checked out were the Rainbow Vista, White Domes Trail, and Elephant Rock. Anyone who visits the Valley of Fire needs to check these places out!

  2. Ania Fields says:

    Yes! I was just back at the Valley of Fire last month and explored a few new trails. It’s like a huge, amazing playground! So much to see and discover 🙂

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  1. […] If you ever go to Vegas, either for fun, work or a convention, and after a few days feel like you need a break from all the over excitement; I encourage you to rent a car and do a day trip from Las Vegas to Zion National Park. This is what Patrycja and I did after several intensive days spent inside MGM Grand at the WPPI photography conference. Of course there is enough to see and do in Zion for an entire week (or longer) but I like to work with what is available and we only had one day to go there and back and return on time for an evening flight back home. This turned out to be another unbelievable day trip, totally worth the drive (you can read about our first day trip this year here). […]

  2. […] year I had a chance to visit two amazing places with my friend Patrycja: Valley of Fire in Nevada and Zion National Park in Utah. We didn’t have much time then, but I fell in love […]

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