As the sun rays rush to fall on brightly colored sand dunes and petroglyphs, you could easily mistake this phenomenal sight to that of a valley on fierce and unstoppable flames of fire. Believed to be the aftermath of massive erosion of sandstones and shifting of sand dunes approximated to have taken place 150 million years back, these unique geological formations are the prime attraction in Valley of Fire State Park. With the 2,000-year-old ancient petroglyphs lining Valley of Fire State Park’s 46,000 acres, coupled with its elevation raising to 2,464 feet, this is a bucket-list-worthy RV destination. Valley of Fire State Park has been in existence since 1935, thus taking the trophy as the oldest and largest of Nevada’s state parks.
Located approximately 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas, this park is surrounded by intriguing landscapes. The weather in Valley of Fire State Park is synonymous with the dry and warm climate of the Mojave Desert on which it lies. The spring and winter are the best times of year to take an RV trip to the park, when the weather is more bearable. Early mornings and late evenings are popular with guests when the sun is not in its full force. This activity-rich park offers RVers lots of recreational adventures like hiking, photography, and rock climbing. With its raised elevation, clear skies, and gigantic rock formations that shield light pollution coming from Las Vegas, Valley of Fire State Park is also a popular stargazing venue.
RV Rentals in Valley of Fire State Park
Transportation in Valley of Fire State Park
Approximately an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, off Interstate 15, Valley of Fire State Park is conveniently located on the Valley of Fire Highway. Depending on the direction you are coming from, the park can be accessed either from the West Entrance or East Entrance. The West Entrance attracts more traffic and since I-15 is a wide highway driving here is easy. Once you get to the Valley of Fire Highway, the road narrows forming a two-lane road that leads to the park's entrances. If coming from Overton, the park is off State Route 169 located about eight miles south from the town center
Parking is scattered all over this massive state park. You can find parking at almost every natural attraction and trail head. Parking is also available at each of the park's entrances. Of course, you can always park your rig at your campsite if you're staying overnight. However, since this park is so big it might be worth it to tow an extra vehicle or pack a bike in the rig to make it easier to get around.
Campgrounds and parking in Valley of Fire State Park
Campsites in Valley of Fire State Park
No Reservations Available
Valley of Fire State Park features two campgrounds that operate exclusively on a first-come, first-served basis.
Valley of Fire State Park is a family friendly and pet-friendly park with two campgrounds. Both campgrounds operate exclusively on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to this fact, those who wish to camper especially during the peak season should come to the park early enough to avoid disappointments.
Atlatl campground is the main campground as it is larger and open throughout the year. This campground has 44 sites open for RVs, trailers, and tents. Amenities in this campground include picnic tables, shaded ramadas, barbecue grills, and a bathhouse. Additionally, you will have access to a dump station, four handicap-friendly sites, flush toilets, hot showers, and water faucets. Guests can camp here for a maximum of 14 days per month. Campsites 23 through 44 are equipped with water and electricity and specifically reserved for RV camping. Atlatl campgrounds can fit a trailer or RV up to 30 feet in length.
The park features three group camping areas which can accommodate up to 45 people and can also be reserved as a group picnic site. Keep in mind that pets should always be on leash when outside your RV and are not permitted in the visitors' center.
Arch Rock Campground
Arch Rock is the smallest and less developed of the two campgrounds. There are 29 campsites, which are often closed during the off-season. The advantage of this campgrounds is that it is more scenic and near the park’s activities. Due to its narrow roads and smaller sites, this campground is more geared towards tents. There are no showers or electric hookups at these sites. However potable water spigots, a bathhouse and vault toilets are available.
Both campgrounds have no Wi-Fi or cell services. If you need gas, groceries, internet services, or want to go for lunch, you will have to drive to Overton, which is 14 miles east of the Valley of Fire State Park.
Seasonal activities in Valley of Fire State Park
Hiking is the best way to experience the geological wonders of the Valley of Fire State Park. The canyon's red, pink, and orange sandstones are highlights of the park. Since the park is very humid and rocky hikers should pack sunscreen, plenty of water, a hat, and hiking shoes in their RV.
Most hikes are very short and doable, averaging about a mile long with minimal elevation. Of the 12 official trails, the nearly two-mile Fire Wave trail, one-mile White Domes Loop, and Rainbow Vista are most the interesting offering incredible views. There are other less explored but equally beautiful trails to be discovered including the quarter-mile hike to the Pink Canyon and the five miles leading to the Natural Arches.
During the spring the park trails are decorated by the flowering of desert plants such as Desert Mallow, Beaver tail, and Brittle brush. Mountain biking is permitted on paved trails and some sections of the Prospect Trail and Old Arrowhead Arch trail
Love photography? The entire Valley of Fire State Park is grazed by beautiful rock formations, narrow slot canyons, and numerous petroglyphs, which make great spots for photography tours. There are endless opportunities for taking pictures here. The most incredible venues with unbeatable backdrops include the Beehives, Arch Rock, and Fire Wave. Fire Canyon and Silica Dome are perhaps the most attractive. Given its towering height, you can get to capture a fabulous sunrise and sunset at Atlatl Rock.
Touring the Visitors Center
The Valley of Fire State Park visitor's center is packed with history. The center houses interesting exhibits ranging from geology to ecology. In addition to gathering information about the park’s activities and history from the staff, you can grab your map and purchase some souvenirs, postcards, and books here too.
The stunning rocks in Valley of Fire State Park are a magnet for RV guests. Although rock climbing is permitted only in specific areas, it is super fun for kids. Most of the rock formations are easy to climb and give stunning views of the parks geological formations.
Wildlife Viewing and Birding
Covered by widely spaced desert plants such as brittlebush and cactus species, there is little to no shade, making most of the Valley of Fire State Park's wildlife nocturnal. However, this does not mean the park is devoid of animals. Occasionally you will come across reptiles such as snakes and lizards or mammals such as bighorn sheep, antelopes, and jackrabbits. On rare occasions, desert tortoises may be sighted. RV campers will enjoy their day watching sparrows, ravens, and roadrunners.
Valley of Fire State Park offers five fascinating day-use areas in the heart of stunning rock formations. RV visitors can enjoy their meals while gazing at the beauty of these natural attractions. For a quick family gateway, visitors can choose to stay in either of the two uniquely designed historic cabins constructed using sandstones by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Visitors can also picnic at the Atlatl Rock, Seven Sisters, Mouse Tank Trailhead, and White Domes. There are restrooms at each picnic area.