Hell is in the Valley of Fire


Valley of Fire Less than 100 kilometers from one of the most controversial cities in the world, Las Vegas, is a spectacular natural space in the Desert of the Mojave, he Valley of fire State park or Valley of Fire. This set of landscapes of rock and sand melted in wide reddish tones is not very frequented and we can consider it as one of the great strangers that we should not skip on every trip to the United States.

Hell is in the Valley of Fire - What to see in Valley of Fire

To start ... What is a State Park?

A State park It is a term used in the US and Australia to delimit a protected area. We could compare them with Natural parks, but these also refer to areas of historical character, such as places where a battle occurred.

Valley of Fire

Park Map

The map can be downloaded from this link.

Our visit to Valley of Fire - A hell of heat

Like all August in the state of Nevada, temperatures are very high, around 40 degrees in the shade with 0% humidity. Walking with this time requires drinking a lot of water, and even with these we will end up suffering more than we should, being able to become a real hell. This supposes a true contrast with respect to the winter temperatures in which it can even to snow.

We left Las Vegas at 09:00 AM, very late given that we were moving to a rather hard desert. After picking up some friends at the Hotel, we will head to the park and in just one hour we will arrive at the entrance to it. I lowered the window of the car to pay the $ 10 entry to the park officer and quickly I got a breath of heat, which made me think about how bad we could pass it here. How hot !!

With the map in hand, we headed to Arch rock. A very curious shaped rock near the road. From here we saw that the landscape seemed totally Martian or infernal, with large sand esplanades and rocks of reddish hue with different shades. Near here was a camping area with all kinds of services, but in summer people do not dare too much to use.

Even the temperatures gave us a little respite and you could walk easily taking shelter in some shadows when we saw something curious from the car and went down to take a picture. Later, at the end of the road was a set of Petroglyphs Very well preserved. These became our first really interesting stop.


These Petroglyphs are located next to a small parking lot full of squirrels Thirsty to drink water running in a fountain. In front, some stairs that give us access to all the marks left by the ancient Indians who lived in the surroundings.

Petroglyphs - Valley of Fire

Worst of all is that the vandalism He has come here and always some inconsiderate mark his signature to say that he has visited the site. Luckily they did not think of recording it on top of the originals.

Petroglyphs - Valley of Fire

After our first point, we went to the main road and stood before a sign that indicated “Petrified Logs Loop". As curiosity killed the cat, we continued to take an incredible snap after 5 minutes of walking. In it it is possible to see petrified trees that in view of those who know little of this we would have missed them. The trunks of these trees have become rock, giving evidence that there was a great forest here thousands of years ago.

After this curiosity we went to Visitors Center and from there to the first route of the day, the Mouse's Tank.

Mouse's Tank Trail

This route is barely 2.5km long and is all the way flat. So far everything seems great, but we must bear in mind that walking around sand He is tired and at the time we started it we already had an inclement sun.

Valley of Fire - Mouse Tank Trail

Here I exhausted my first liter of water and I almost bathed in the pools where mice are supposed to fall and end up drowning. These pools they are of the few evidences of water of all the park.

Valley of Fire - Mouse Tank Trail

On the way back, following the same path, we saw another series of Petroglyphs or so we thought, although they were not marked. After arriving at the car, we collected more water to accommodate it in the backpacks and from here we went to the next point.

Rainbow viewpoint

We left the car at the entrance of the Rainbow trail, from where there is a small viewpoint oriented to the North of the Park and from where we can see wild goats and desert iguanas. And where do these animals extract water? I guess of the plants and bulbs, but personally I was left with the doubt.

Rainbow Viewpoint - Valley of Fire

Rainbow trail

We start the route with much more water than the previous one. The sun was scorching and the sandy roads didn't help much. Later we decided to separate to cover more areas, as long as we can see each other. As you can see in the following photograph, at the top of the big rock there is a lilliputian… .

Rainbow Trail - Valley of Fire

We get together again and take the road back. They had fallen at least 2 liters of water and one of our colleagues began to dehydrate more than the account. This led to staying in the car on the next route, at the expense of losing the best of them all. This is a good scale of heat that one can get through. Too bad the pictures can't show it.

Rainbow Trail - Valley of Fire

White Domes Loop

After driving 10 minutes we arrived at our last route, the White Domes Loop. We put the first foot out of the car and wanted to get in again and cool off under the air conditioning. After a little meditation we started the route up a sandy slope that had become dune.

White Domes Loop - Valley of Fire

From here we begin a long descent with a really beautiful landscape. Drinking and drinking continue to pass through my head, but with the little water we had left, barely 1.5l We had to dose. Anyway it had a horrible texture! since it was very very hot, pure broth. Another detail that I valued was that downloading is not free… we would have to upload it again somewhere else :-(.

White Domes Loop - Valley of Fire

We arrived at a kind of natural square where a sign indicates that a series of films had been shot in the area, as one of the mythical Star trek. It would be a dish for Mars??

White Domes Loop - Valley of Fire

Following what looks like a dry riverbed, we enter a canyon in the purest style of Antelope Canyon.

White Domes Loop - Valley of Fire

Upon leaving this appeared some blessed clouds that brought half an hour to spare, enough to reach the car with the canteens totally empty, but not too exhausted. After this route, we returned to the Information Center to buy water and energy drinks, which I knew to glory. Our hell It was over.

Other points of interest

In addition to the points visited, it is very common to visit the Seven Sisters, 7 large consecutive rocks that you can see near the main road, the Elephant rock, an Elephant-shaped rock and of course the magnificent museum in the Visitor Center.

By the way, if you meet limousines it's normal ... this place is widely used to portray newlyweds from Las Vegas.

Practical data

When to go?

Trying to be located in a desert as hard as the Mojave, the ideal is to visit it in the coldest months, from November to April. In winter some snowfall is recorded, but temperatures are usually mild. The rest of the months are very hot, but if you are cautious you can enjoy the park. In the latter case go as early as possible since the central hours of the day are unbearable.

How to get to the Valley of Fire?

He Valley of Fire It is in the middle of the Mojave Desert in the state of Nevada and just under 100 miles from the city of sin, Las Vegas. Taking the highway I-15 in the direction Salt lake city, after about 60 kilometers (Exit 75) we will find the diversion sign next to a strange Casino called Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza. From here if we continue straight we will reach the entrance of the park.

Another alternative is to continue on I-15 and exit on the Exit 93. From here we can also enter the park and curiously there is no vehicle control from this part.

There is no public transport to access the park, so it is necessary to go with your own car. Anyway, to move around the park, you need your own vehicle because there are no buses.

How much does it cost us?

Each vehicle when passing through the control must pay 10$. If we want to spend the night in a tent they are 20$. If the vehicle enters the West zone, it must be paid at the Visitor Center.

Where to stay?

The only possible accommodation within the park is the tent. The facilities are very good with bathrooms, picnic benches for each camping cell, a water tap as well as a small barbecue. This may sound great to us, but best of all, there is a wooden roof above each cell to ensure the shadowThat is so precious in a desert.

Where to eat?

The visitor center sells some food and drink, but it won't be enough to satisfy us. I recommend you buy some road in a supermarket or in some of the I-15 gas stations.

To stop eating we can use the tables Picnic located in all the parkings of access to each one of the routes.

What to wear

Bring large amounts of water, although in some areas there are taps to refill the bottles but not all. You can consume more than 4 liters of water in a single day because the heat can be really hellish. Logically sunscreen, glasses / sunglasses, boots (sand enters easily) and a cap is more than recommended. There are people who even wear a umbrella to protect from the sun.

More information?

On the official website of the United States Parks Network.