People are drawn to the bright lights and glamour of the famous Las Vegas Strip. But what is there to do if you are not looking to gamble, drink all day or lounge by the pool amongst the bikini clad crowd? Just an hour outside of the Las Vegas Strip is Valley of Fire State Park and it is worth the drive and $15 admission fee (non resident) per car. Fun fact: The outside mars scenes in Total Recall with Schwarzenegger were almost exclusively shot at the Valley of Fire State Park. You can start imagining what this area is like, all 40,000 acres.
There are multiple areas to explore in this state park. Depending on what trail you choose, you will see petrified trees, multiple colors of sandstone, petroglyphs and more. So what trail should you choose? If you have limited time and want to see what I think is the most amazing place in the park, choose Fire Wave Trail.
Hiking Fire Wave Trail
This trail is very popular, some use it as a second to trying to see The Wave in Arizona. One of the hardest trails and attractions to see due to their daily lottery and limited number they allow. It's not the wave, but it holds its own with the amazing color changes in the sandstone.
This hike is easy and good for all ages, but leave Fido at home. Aside from hiking through vibrant colored sandstone, you will find you can to play around on some of the formations, stop for a snack if it isn't blistering hot or take a moment to reflect.
Then head to the main attraction...Nevada's wave.
While only 2.5 miles round trip, make sure to bring plenty of water in the summer because you are in the desert and there is no water anywhere except at the campsites.
If you find you have time to try one more trail and you have always wanted to see Petroglyphs, then we would suggest Mouse Tank Trail.
While you can climb around at the Wave, you are not allowed to climb on any petroglyphs or arches.
If you have never hiked through a slot canyon, definitely take the time to check out Prospect Trail.
Camping in Valley of Fire State Park
If you can stay within the state park. They have 2 campgrounds with a total of 72 sites. They have shaded tables, grills and water. There are also restrooms at each campground. As a bonus, dump stations and showers are available as well.
All sites are first come first serve and have a 14 day limit within a 30-day period.
Fee Schedule: $20.00 per vehicle, per night (Non-NV Vehicles: $25.00 per vehicle, per night) + $10.00 for sites with utility hook ups