One Day in Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park is a pinwheel of color for the eye.  Full of unique and different colored Azetec sandstone and limestone, this park is stunning to see in real life.  Ancient petroglyphs, slot canyons and different wildlife make this park a special place to hike, camp or even just drive through.  Valley of Fire State Park is approximately 1 hour from the Las Vegas Strip and/or McCarran Airport.   We recommend spending one day in Valley of Fire State Park.  Here is our concise guide on visiting Valley of Fire State Park in one day.  

One Day in Valley of Fire State Park

Tip: Bring exactly $10 cash as the park entrance fee of $10/car is self-pay and there is no option to pay with a credit card.  

FYI: This post was written based on a trip taken in mid September

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What to do on One Day in Valley of Fire State Park

Drive Mouse Tank Road

Mouse Tank Road Views Valley of Fire State Park
Mouse Tank Road Views

The first thing to do with your one day in Valley of Fire State Park is to drive Mouse Tank Road. On this road, you will see beautiful and variable sandstone/limestone landscapes. Our favorite spots were Rainbow Vista Viewpoint and the pullouts on Mouse Tank Road. 

Hike Fire Wave

1.5 miles round-trip, 174 feet of elevation gain, out & back 

One Day at Valley of Fire State Park

This trail brings you to striated sandstone that literally looks like a fire wave.  On the way, you’ll see plenty of other vivid desert displays.  This landscape is best to photograph at sunrise or sunset.  This was our favorite hike on our one day in Valley of Fire State Park

Hike White Domes Trail

1.25 miles, 108 feet of elevation gain, loop

White Domes Trail

This trail is a close second for our favorite hike in Valley of Fire State Park. The name of this trail comes from the white domed peaks at the beginning of it.  This trail also features the longest slot canyon in the park. 

Tip: This trail is at the very end of Mouse Tank road, after the Fire Wave Trailhead 

Hike Mouse Tank Trail

0.8 miles round-trip, 16 feet of elevation gain, out & back 

Mouse Tank Trail

Another trail not to miss in Valley of Fire State Park is the Mouse Tank Trail. On this trail, you go through a canyon of Native American petroglyphs.  If you are lucky enough, you may see some bighorn sheep.  

Hike/Visit Elephant Rock

0.3 miles round-trip, 54 feet of elevation gain, out & back OR 1.2 mile loop

Elephant Rock Trail

Another highlight of our time this park was hiking to Elephant Rock. This trail is near the East entrance and visitor center.  You can either walk to elephant rock and back or do the trail as a loop.  Make sure to spot the elephant in the rocks. Either way, do not miss taking a picture in the Valley of Fire polaroid cutout.  

If you have more time, you may also consider hiking one of the longer trails such as Pinnacles Loop (4.5 mile loop) or Prospect Trail (4.6 miles one-way).

Looking for great hiking boots?  Here are links to the ones we’ve used for 7+ years and highly recommend: Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots & Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots

We hope this post helps you plan your trip to Valley of Fire State Park.  For more information on this park please see the Valley of Fire State Park Website.  Also, check out our Epic 10 Day Utah National Parks/Southwest Road Trip for more information on our visit.

Anything else you’d add to our guide?  We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

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