I grew up in Massachusetts, United States of America in a small town called Sagamore Beach. Then I moved to Florida at the age of 14 where I have been living ever since. I am a full time flight attendant and photographer who has a love and passion for traveling, exploration and the outdoors.
I have been taking photos since I was in elementary school when I received my first Kodak digital camera. My love for travel and adventure definitely came from my childhood and spending a lot of time in the outdoors – camping, exploring and observing the natural world around me.
At school, I was one of those kids who would spend every waking moment outside. I have always loved traveling. After my month-long study abroad in Peru during my last semester in college, I was officially hooked!
Two Awesome Days at Valley of Fire State Park
I have had the pleasure of traveling to a few countries abroad as well as exploring some of the best destinations in my home country. One place that I visited recently which blew my away was Valley of Fire State Park. I remember seeing some Instagram posts and thinking I had to visit!
I saw these amazing Instagram posts of Valley of Fire just a few days before a trip I was about to take. So it became a somewhat spontaneous visit but it was more than worth it! The photos and videos I saw sparked my interest and I googled the location. The park fit perfectly into our itinerary.
Since it was a spontaneous visit, we only went for two days and entered the park twice. When we arrived on the first day, it was about an hour before the park closed. We had to be quick but it really took my breath away!
There was no camping available in the park since it was a last minute thing. So we had to drive a fair distance where we set up each night in our campervan. We cruised the park, walked around, explored the beehives, hiked the Rainbow Vista Trail and hung out at the Fire Canyon Lookout.
Favorite Place: Fire Canyon Lookout
My favorite part of Valley of Fire was Fire Canyon Lookout because the views were insane! I had never seen anything like that before. We climbed up onto this rock formation, took photos and were in complete awe.
The park was going to be closing in another hour-and-a-half and so the lighting of the sun hitting the rocks was gorgeous. Driving to the Rainbow Vista Trail to see Fire Canyon requires driving up a big hill past the visitor centre. The road is surrounded by massive red and orange rocks.
It looks like you are driving into another planet like Mars! This place was absolutely incredible and it feels like a completely different world.
Top 5 Things To Do in Valley of Fire State Park
I would say the top five things to do in Valley of Fire State Park are Rainbow Vista Trail, Fire Canyon Lookout, Fire Wave Trail, Mouse’s Tank and the Beehives! They are all incredibly beautiful and worth checking out! I can’t wait to go back and explore more treasures of this park!
1. Hike the Short and Sweet Rainbow Vista Trail
This scenic hike is the perfect introduction to Valley of Fire State Park. It also leads you to the Fire Canyon Lookout which is another highlight. The trip there and back should take you around an hour or two but it all depends on how much time you spend taking in the amazing views.
2. Take in the Epic Views of Fire Canyon Lookout
One of the main reasons why people flock to the Rainbow Vista Trail is because this hike offers a little side-track which you can venture down and then look out over the red rocks of Fire Canyon. Make sure you take your camera with you to snap plenty of photos. You will absolutely love it!
3. See the Striped Sandstone of Fire Wave Trail
For those looking to hike a longer trail then this is perfect. Fire Wave Trail is a 2.4 km back trail featuring incredible stripes on the rocks and landscapes – characterized by streaks of beige and red/orange sandstone. This region of Valley of Fire is a lot more isolated than other areas.
4. Discover the Petroglyphs of Mouse’s Tank
Starting from the trailhead parking area, this half-mile trail leads to a place called Mouse’s Tank – a natural basin which has extraordinary images of prehistoric petroglyphs on the rocks. Mouse’s Tank is named after a Indian renegade (Little Mouse) who was hiding out in the state park in the 1890’s.
5. Marvel at the Beehives of the Valley of Fire
Don’t worry! You won’t actually see any beehives at the Beehives of Valley of Fire State Park. But the rock formations here do highly resemble large beehives. They were formed through a process called “geological cross-bedding” where layers of rock form grooves from water and wind.
Explore Valley of Fire State Park by Campervan
Depending on the season, I recommend renting a campervan to explore the state park. For example, this would be a fantastic option in the middle of winter. Camping in a tent wouldn’t be a bad option in summer too.
Valley of Fire State Park is a bit of drive from Las Vegas and there isn’t much around that area. With a campervan, you will have everything you need. There are quite a few pull-off areas on the highway leading into the park where people camp overnight with RV’s, campervans, tents and more.
The state park does have cabins to rent but like any other park they have to be booked in advance. Therefore, I recommend using a campervan!
Best Memory from Valley of Fire State Park
My best memory from Valley of Fire was sitting on top of the rocks looking out at Fire Canyon with my best friend. We had drinks, snacks and took a ton of photos! It was amazing to be present in the moment and take it all in.
The views are the opposite of what I am used to. I had never seen such a unique environment before. It was our first time traveling together and our first time doing a campervan trip. Our trip was all kind of planned last minute but everything worked out. It was the highlight of my year!
Need to Know Before you Go
- Make sure you do your research and plan ahead if you can, especially when it comes to figuring out where you will be staying.
- Check out the weather forecast before going. If you plan on being at Valley of Fire in the summer, you can pack lighter clothes, for example. In the winter it gets very cold so wear and pack extra layers. It gets hot in the direct sun even in the winter but the sun sets early especially after daylight savings. Remember, the desert is super cold at night!
- Valley of Fire is not near any major cities or towns. It’s about an hour drive from Las Vegas. Plan accordingly and pack lots of food and water.
- When hiking in the park, I would recommend wearing sneakers with good grip or hiking boots. Your shoes will get sandy and dirty and the grip on your shoes will help when hiking and climbing on the rocks.
- Always travel with a partner/friend at Valley of Fire. Let someone know where and when you will be visiting the park for safety measures.
- Most importantly, have fun!