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There is no shortage of things to see and do in Las Vegas—from over-the-top casinos to flashy, big-budget shows to world-class restaurants and swoon-worthy lodgings—Sin City, has all the hustle and bustle needed to make for an unforgettable desert getaway.

However, the scenery surrounding Vegas has its own treasure awaiting vacationers looking for an outdoor escape from the iconic NV city: the nearby Valley of Fire State Park. Despite its proximity to Las Vegas, this Mojave Desert gem is often overlooked by travelers who prefer to stick to the bright lights and upbeat atmosphere of the Strip. However, at this scenic state park, nature enthusiasts will find a plethora of stunning sights that rival any of the city's most spectacular man-made creations, a bastion of beauty and geological marvels just an hour from Las Vegas.

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About Valley Of Fire State Park

Located about an hour away from Sin City, Valley of Fire State Park is one of the most scenic places to visit in Nevada. Located in the Mojave Desert, the sprawling 40,000-acre Valley of Fire State Park is world-famous for its distinctive geological features and ancient landmarks—including petrified trees and petroglyphs dating back over 2,000 years. Stunningly vivid red sandstone outcroppings and canyons set amid steeply dramatic limestone mountains make for an impressive (and historic) landscape that’s a bastion of history and a reminder of the 11,000-year-old, ancient civilization that once existed within this NV desert gem—officially a state park since 1935, making it the oldest and largest in the entire Silver State.

Valley Of Fire: The Details

Valley of Fire State Park is about 55 miles from Las Vegas—making it the perfect day trip or weekend getaway from the bright lights of Sin City.

  • Address: 29450 Valley of Fire Hwy, Overton, NV
  • Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset; 24-hour access to campgrounds
  • Admission/Parking: Day Use Entrance Fee $10 ($15 for Non-NV vehicles); Camping $20/vehicle per night + $10 for utility hook-ups (Non-NV vehicles $25/vehicle); Bike In: $2/bike
  • How To Get There: via I-15 North, or 1-515 S via Lake Mead
  • Park Highlights: Stunning scenery; Valley of Fire Scenic Byway; Wildlife Viewing; Hiking; Petroglyphs
  • Optional Stops: Lake Mead; Echo Bay; Paradise (via I-515 S); Crystal (via I-15 N)

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Hiking At Valley Of Fire State Park

One of the best ways to explore the bright, vivid rock formations and stunning sandstone setting is by hiking through Valley of Fire—and with a number of trails available for all skill levels, there’s something for everyone from the casual hiker to the adventure junkie looking for a challenge. The best part is, there’s no wrong way to go—every trail is surrounded by warm, sunbaked hues and untold geological gems galore.

  • White Domes Trail is a just over one-mile loop that winds through white sandstone formations; box canyons; and stunning desert vistas (easy)
  • Fire Wave Trail is the perfect 1.5 mile out and back hike to experience some of Valley of Fire’s most vivid hues: rocky swirls and colorful hills on full display amid the desert sandstone (easy)
  • Rainbow Vista Trail Just over one-mile round trip, this out and back hike is perfect for the entire family, with its stunning scenery and trail surrounded by bright, red rock formations and amazing views (easy)
  • Elephant Rock/Arch Rock/Arch Rock are cool landmarks very close to the parking area that offers great photo ops, cool petroglyphs, and even more bright desert rock formations (Elephant Rock is a short out and back, easy trail)
  • Top Of The World Arch Trail is an almost 4.5-mile loop perfect for those who enjoy a bit of a challenge—and solitude. Winding its way through the backcountry, it eventually leads to a dramatic sandstone arch. Hikers should be sure to bring a map or GPS device since there are several trail offshoots. (challenging)

Where To Dine Near Valley Of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire is a great place to bring a picnic and soak up the scenery while enjoying a midday bite, and the Seven Sisters Viewpoint and Atlatl Rock both have picnic tables with spectacular red boulder views that are great spots to lunch in the shade. However, those who want to spend the night near Valley of Fire will undoubtedly be on the lookout for some local dining options. Below are some of the best spots within 20 miles of Valley of Fire State Park.

  • Pirates Landing is a casual, delish pizza joint in nearby Logandale
  • Cablp is Criss Angel’s Moapa Valley restaurant—and the menu is as eclectic as the performer himself (don’t forget to try gourmet Italian ice for dessert!)
  • Inside Scoop is a local Overton fave and family restaurant serving up the casual fare and yummy ice cream
  • Chile Poblano Mexican Grill serves up all the best authentic Mexican faves and is just a short drive away in Moapa.

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Where to Stay Near Valley Of Fire State Park

Though Valley of Fire has two campsites of its own that are perfect for spending the night in this beautiful state park (the sunsets and sunrises are definitely worth it!), travelers that don’t feel like roughing it can head back to Vegas—or spend the night at one of these nearby lodgings, ideal for anyone looking to head to nearby Lake Mead or on to the Hoover Dam the next day.

  • North Shore Inn at Lake Mead 520 North Moapa Valley Blvd. Overton, NV
  • Hoover Dam Lodge and Casino 18000 US-93, Boulder City, NV
  • Boulder Dam Hotel 1305 Arizona St, Boulder City, NV
  • Cottonwood Cove Resort & Marina 10000 Cottonwood Cove Rd, Searchlight, NV

While the bright lights and exciting sights of Las Vegas are an adventure unto themselves (the Strip! the shows! the bustling vibes!), there are plenty of amazing things to do outside of Vegas, too—especially for intrepid travelers who want to experience the stunning desert scenery surrounding Sin City. And the nearby Valley of Fire State Park is one such place. Less than an hour from Vegas, travelers will feel as if they’ve entered another world: desert vistas full of spectacularly vivid rock formations and red bouldered countrysides; a history and geology dating back to the Jurassic; and a myriad of scenic hikes and IG-worthy photo ops—Valley of Fire is the perfect day trip or weekend getaway from Las Vegas.