Treasure in the Desert

Valley of Fire State Park is a short one-hour drive north of Las Vegas and one of the many wonders you will find in Nevada’s park systems. More than 40,000 acres of colorful sand and limestone, petrified trees, petroglyphs, campgrounds, and hiking trails will astonish the most seasoned adventurer.

Entering the Park

There are two entrances to the park. The southern entrance/exit is just 10 miles off the I-15 on Valley of Fire Highway, with a Chevron just off the exit if you forgot to gas up at your last destination. The eastern entrance/exit can be found off highway 169/167, and you won't find a gas station for at least 15 -20 miles from that location. The park entrance fees are $10.00 for residents and $15.00 for non-residents. During peak seasons, I’ve experienced delays of up to 30 minutes at the south entrance.


Points of Interest

I’ve visited this park three times and still have not seen all of the sites. Of course, my travels only allowed for a 2-3 hour stopover each visit, but you could get to everything in a day. One of my favorite places is campground road, which just a mile or so past the South entrance. There are several places on the road to explore arches, rock formations, and you won’t have to venture too far from your vehicle for an amazing photoshoot. Additionally, you will find picnic spots, restrooms, and the park’s two campgrounds along this road.


As you venture further into the park, you will find the visitors center. A stop here is quite the event for the little ones and adults alike. Curious visitors can view the numerous exhibits on the park’s geology, history, and ecology. The visitor’s center also provides information on the numerous hiking trails within the park.

Once you leave the visitors center, get your camera ready. Turn right, and you’ll drive up a beautiful canyon filled with sand and limestone rock with brilliant red and orange colors. As you get to the top of the canyon, you will find many interesting locations within the park to visit. One of my personal favorites is the Mouse's Tank. A 3/4 mile hike slowly winds down a path with rocks covered in prehistoric petroglyphs. One can only wonder about the history of this area as they gauge the details in the art and the elevation located on the rocks.

With 13 exciting points of interest within the park, travelers may find themselves the only one in many areas. You can spend as much or as little time as you like at each location, and most if not all have easily accessible parking and restrooms. While you're there, you may also encounter herds of desert bighorn sheep. Be careful driving as they are very accustomed to the daily traffic within the park and think nothing of casually strolling out onto the road.








Camping


The park offers two campgrounds offering 72 sites: shaded tables, grills, water, showers, and restrooms. A dump station is located near the camping area as a convenience for RV campers. All campsites are first-come, first-served, and I haven't been there when they weren't fully booked. A couple of alternate camping options in the vicinity include are just miles from the east gate.


Just miles away, Lake Mead offers several improved sites https://www.nps.gov/lake/planyourvisit/reservations.htm. Additionally, there is a large overland site just 10 minutes north of Valley of Fire Road on Hwy 169.


Additional Services

Have you ever considered a desert wedding with vibrantly colored canyons and rocks quenched by the setting sun? Why not make Valley of Fire State Park your destination? Couples may choose from four destinations in the park to suit their venue, with assistance from professional planners at www.sceniclasvegasweddings.com.

Services won't be a problem either. The park includes Wi-Fi packages listed on http://parks.nv.gov/wifi-plans-at-valley-of-fire-state-park to provide continuous services for travelers as they visit the park.


If you’re already in Las Vegas and want to get away from the crowds, a day trip to the park may be in order. Tour services from Las Vegas provide transportation and last from 4-9 hours. Most are small groups of 10 – 12 and provide a tour guide to guide you through the many points of interest the park offers. Numerous options can be found at the links listed below:


https://www.vegas.com/tours/valley-of-fire/

https://www.canyontours.com/valley-of-fire-tours/

https://www.getyourguide.com/valley-of-fire-l34309/

Four-Legged Friends

Pets are allowed in all areas on a leash, and I've let Knox run around off-leash in areas where there was no one in the area. They won't be allowed in the visitor's center, so please keep the seasonal temperatures in mind, as summer temperatures are in the 102-108 degree range. Even a few minutes in a vehicle won’t be an option. Travel tips and seasonal temperatures can be found at https://www.anytraveltips.com/travel-listing/valley-fire-state-park

If you're staying in Las Vegas and looking to board your animal, a simple google or yelp search will provide numerous options for daycare and boarding. I'm a big fan of yelp because they give reviews on the services you're researching.


I hope today’s blog has provided you the information and links to plan your visit to Valley of Fire State Park. I believe adventure is in the hearts of the young and old, and I hope a visit to this park will create a lasting memory with you, your family, and friends. I’d also like to thank you for joining our blog at www.mandogjeep.com, and you will join us for future adventures as we explore the road less traveled.


Until then, my fellow adventurers, “Find your trial, and get out there.”




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