Only 45 minutes north of Las Vegas, you will find yourself in a prehistoric land. The Valley of Fire State Park is the perfect day trip from Las Vegas because of its close location and abundance of things to do! This Valley of Fire itinerary will help you see the most in this incredible park in a short amount of time.
Table of Contents
How Far is Valley of Fire from Las Vegas?
To begin, Valley of Fire is a quick 1-hour drive from Las Vegas.
To get there, you can drive on Interstate 15 North (I-15 N) for just over 30 miles. Next, take exit 75 towards Lake Mead. Keep left on Valley of Fire Highway for 15 miles until you have arrived to the park!
In fact, the Valley of Fire is situated perfectly between Las Vegas and Zion National Park, making it a perfect stop on your road trip.
Heading to Zion National Park?Zion National Park Trip Planning Guide
Admittedly, I have visited Valley of Fire State Park twice because I love it so much! Once as a day trip from Las Vegas, and the other as a pit stop driving between Las Vegas and St. George, Utah. Both times were absolutely magical.
Although there are many parts of the country where red rocks can be found, the red rocks at Valley of Fire State Park feel more intimate. This land actually used to be underwater, and over time the sea receded and this became a sea of red rock formations. It’s like you are driving directly through them, submerged on both sides. Additionally, the lower crowds make this an awesome spot!
After these two visits, I have found the perfect one-day Valley of Fire itinerary! This itinerary has an emphasis on hiking and “Instagrammable” photos. So, if that is your thing (like me!) then this is the best itinerary for you!
Valley of Fire Itinerary – Road Trip from Las Vegas
8:00 am Drive to Valley of Fire State Park
First, Wake up early for your big day in Valley of Fire State Park! Also to beat the heat.
The Valley of Fire, like Las Vegas, can get very hot! So make sure to pack lots of water and arrive early to help you beat the heat!
You will want to enter the park on West Entrance. The GPS should already route you this way, since this is the closest entrance from Las Vegas.
9:00 am Visit the Beehive
Next, once you are inside the park, your first stop will be the Beehive. This sandstone formation will be located on the right side and is very unique. It is a great first stop to stretch out your legs and get started for the day!
Just past the Beehive you may notice a scenic loop road, in my opinion, do this if you have extra time! If not, skip it. There are other more scenic roads in this park!
9:30 am Valley of Fire Visitors Center
Next stop on your Valley of Fire itinerary is the visitors centerKeep driving in the park until you reach the visitors center. I ALWAYS like to stop at the visitors center when arriving in the park. Grab yourself a park map, take to a ranger, and learn a little about the Valley of Fire State Park. In my opinion, this park has one of the most fascinating histories! I mean, you can find fossils of coral from 470 million years ago in this park. It’s pretty impressive.
11:00 am Drive Mouse’s Tank to Petroglyph Canyon
From the visitors center, enjoy the spectacular drive down Mouse’s Tank Road. This road is filled with red rock formations and is so beautiful, so have your camera out and ready!
On the right side of the road, you will find Petroglyph Canyon. This easy 0.8 mile loop is filled with Petroglyphs all over and great for all ages.
12:00 pm- Rainbow Vista Trail
The next large stop on the road will be on the left side, for Rainbow Vista Trail. This is another easy 1.1 mile out and back trail that offers scenic views and overlooks. Additionally, make sure you read the signs along the hike, as they provide some pretty interesting details that enhance the trail!
1:00 pm – White Domes Picnic Area
Next is lunchtime! Drive from Rainbow Vista Trail to the end of Mouse’s Tank Road to the White Domes Trail area. At the end here, there is a large, covered picnic area that is the best spot in the park to relax and get out of the heat for a little.
Also, be sure to pack your own lunch (and plenty of water) for your one-day trip to Valley of Fire State Park! Both times I visited, we packed sandwiches and some chips. Just remember to leave no trace!
2:00 pm – White Domes Trail
After you are all cleaned up from lunch, take a loop on the White Domes Trail. This 1 mile easy loop is another fun trail filled with a slot anyon and different kinds of rock formations. Additionally, this trail is also relatively shaded, which makes it good for the heat of the day.
3:00 pm – Fire Wave and Pink Canyon Loop
Once you are finished with the White Domes Trail, head to the most popular trail, the Fire Wave and Pink Canyon Loop! This trail is where most of the Valley of Fire photos come from! The beautiful white, yellow, pink, and red lines carved through this rock offer some amazing pictures!
Additionally, the best time to visit this trail is in the afternoon and evening, as that is when the lighting hits it the best to make the colors deeper and more vibrant. However, depending on the time of year and when the sun sets, you may want to adjust the timing for this trail.
5:00 pm – Elephant Rock
Once you have finished with the Fire Wave and Pink Canyon loop, head back to the main road and head to the east entrance of the park. This is where you will find Elephant Rock! This rock formation is crazy and not to be missed! I mean it seriously looks like an elephant. Pull off in the parking lot and check out this formation and maybe grab a snack while you are at it before your drive back to Las Vegas!
6:00 pm – Drive from Valley of Fire State Park to Las Vegas
You did it! You finished your Valley of Fire itinerary from Las Vegas! Finally, once you have finished up at Elephant Rock go ahead and drive back through the park to the west entrance to exit and head home.
I hope this helps you plan the perfect in Valley of Fire itinerary, and maybe you will love it as much as I do! I mean, I like this state park more than many national parks! Have you been to Valley of Fire State Park? What’s your favorite part?
Want More Road Trips? Check out these day trips from Phoenix!