Valley of Fire – Nevada State Park

Hi friends, welcome back! I’m changing it up from my spring adventures in NYC and beginning a new series about my hiking trip out west. This trip came to fruition because my mom wanted to celebrate her 60th birthday hiking out west with my sisters and I. Her birthday was in February, but there aren’t many warm spots to hike, so we delayed our trip until May. We all entered to win permits for a few hikes through the National Parks lottery system, and we ended up winning four permits to hike Angels Landing in Zion National Park. My sister Lauren is an avid hiker, so she created a four-day itinerary for us in Zion and Bryce National Park. Luckily for the rest of us she had been to both parks and knew the ins and outs and best hikes. We all booked our flights into Las Vegas on a Friday, miraculously arrived on schedule from Portland, Chicago, Detroit, and NYC, and were on our way!

We had some time to kill before our hotel check-in so we headed to the Valley of Fire Nevada State Park in the Mojave Desert to move our legs. This park is about an hour (55 miles northeast) from Las Vegas, and it was 97* when we arrived. The entrance fee costs $15 and there isn’t currently a reservation system in place until next year, so anyone can visit on a first come, first serve basis. We were welcomed by this Desert Bighorn Sheep, Nevada’s state animal.

In the 1920s the Valley of Fire got its name because it looked like the entire valley was on fire at sunset. This park opened in 1934, but officially became Nevada’s first state park in 1935. The Valley of Fire spans 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone dispersed among the gray and tan limestone. I’d never seen anything like this, it really felt like we were on a different planet!

It was so hot, so we efficiently got a few pictures and ran back to the car. On a cooler day you can find petroglyphs that are about 2,500 years old from the Ancestral Puebloans. You can also camp and partake in numerous hikes throughout the park.

We enjoyed driving on the eleven-mile Valley of Fire Scenic Byway, the main road that goes through the park and connects both entrances. I thought this park was neat and unlike anything I’d seen before. If you’re flying into Vegas and heading to Zion I’d highly recommend stopping here and exploring.

We spent about an hour here before heading northeast to Zion National Park. The drive took about two and a half more hours and was very scenic and enjoyable. We stayed at the La Quinta in Springdale near the park entrance and we all loved this hotel and would highly recommend staying here. We especially loved how the hotel was so picturesque surrounded by the mountains. There was also a resident deer that loved to snack in the courtyard.

Hope you enjoyed the change of scenery! Stay tuned for our first full day in Zion National Park hiking Angels Landing 🙂


29 thoughts on “Valley of Fire – Nevada State Park

  1. Looks like a good trip Lyssy. Happy Birthday to your Mom. We were in Zion and Bryce in 2018 in January. Much less crowded and much cooler, but still beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    1. Oops accidentally hit send. We had some very odd temperatures. Vegas was almost 100, Zion was 90, and bryce was 50. Made it tricky to pack! The heat really wiped us out

    1. I bet!! It was 90 when we were in Zion and we were wiped from the heat! Can’t imagine august. Bryce was actually quite cold, 20-50 degrees 🥶

  2. Elegant balancing in the one photo (you make it look easy!) Also love the “rock window” photos – wouldn’t have been able to resist posing for the camera there either. Did you see any other wildlife besides the sheep? I’d have thought the heat and sneaking among the rocks would’ve brought out the smaller critters.

    1. Thank you! It’s taken years of yoga to be able to do that. The rock window was just asking for a picture, especially from me 😄 I read that the wildlife hide during the day and come out at night when it’s cooler. I think we saw some little lizards around

  3. Beautiful story and photos from the Valley of Fire State Park! That is so cool that you saw a Desert Bighorn Sheep as well! The Southwest looks gorgeous.

    1. Thank you! It was so neat we saw quite a few Desert Bighorn Sheep but the pictures I got were from behind so I didn’t want to post that 😂 the southwest is very cool, so different!

    1. It was nice to be with just the ladies, we never do that. Both parks are so neat and special in their own way. I hope you make it back again soon 😃

    1. Happy birthday to your mum!! We had the best time leaving the guys behind and celebrating her! It was Mother’s Day weekend here too so it worked out wonderfully

  4. Gorgeous photos and what a stunning landscape. Though it looks hotter than hell. The perfect way to spend some quality time with your mom and sisters, and to mark her 60th birthday. Incidentally, my dad is 70 today. No grand trip though, just a home-delivered curry from his favourite Indian restaurant and a visit to Abbotsford, Sir Walter Scott’s stately home.

    1. Thank you! It was so hot and it was only early May! None of us were ready for the heat haha. It was the perfect weekend of celebrating, especially since we don’t see each other as often anymore. Happy 70th birthday to your dad, that’s a big milestone too! That sounds like a nice way to spend his day.

  5. This park is so cool! I’ve never been but it’s on my list. Thanks for the preview! I’m looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip.

    1. I hope you go when it’s cooler so I can see what I missed haha. I was not prepared for the heat!!

  6. This park is where they filmed scenes in Star Trek Generations. It’s where Captain Kirk died. I was there last year – great place! My one friend hiked out on the Lake Mead lakebed that is exposed to a ghost town. She said that was a pretty easy hike.

    1. Oh cool, I haven’t seen Star Trek Generations but I should! That would be neat to see the ghost town, maybe one day I’ll make it back there when it’s cooler

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.