Like I said in my last post, me and my husbands 2 year wedding anniversary was earlier this week. To celebrate we went on a little road trip to Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. Neither one of us had ever been and it was high on my list of places in the U.S. to visit. Let me explain why I wanted to check it out so badly.
- It looks beautiful and has amazing rock formations
- There are lots of short, easy hikes that aren’t boring. Most of the trails are around one mile long so you can do all of them without it taking too long, or getting too worn-out.
- It’s not too far from LA, where I live. It makes an easy weekend trip.
- It’s a State Park, not a National Park, which makes the entrance fee much less and it is not as crowded. Don’t get me wrong, it can get crowded but it didn’t seem to be as busy as some National Parks. Also, I currently have a National Parks pass, so the fee wouldn’t have mattered, I just thought I would include that for people that don’t have one.
- Dogs are allowed on trails. Now that I have a dog, it can be difficult to find good places to take him hiking. State Parks in California don’t allow dogs and it’s really frustrating. Also, in National Parks dogs aren’t allowed on most trails. Valley of Fire allows them on all of the trails and it is amazing.
We got there around 1:00 on Saturday and the line was pretty long but it only took about 20 minutes to get in. We did a few trails the first day. First we hiked White Domes trail, which has a little slot canyon. This ended up being my favorite trail because of the diversity. My second favorite trail was Rainbow Vista trail. This one is probably the most popular one because it’s the one I always see in photos. If you are only visiting for one day I recommend you hike both of these. They are both pretty short. We left around 5 and stayed the night in Las Vegas. Since it was our anniversary we wanted to spurge a bit and have the option of doing more fun stuff that night. We didn’t end up doing much because my husband was allergic to something in the desert and wasn’t feeling well. It was still a really good time though because we got my all time favorite pizza (Giordano’s) to celebrate. We went back to the park the next day for a few hours to see a few more things. We saw some of the petroglyphs and hiked another trail, in addition to a few other sites. Overall, I absolutely love the park and can’t wait to go back. I think it would be so fun to camp there someday. Here are a few tips for visiting:
- Leave early in the morning if you want to avoid waiting in line to enter or try to go on a weekday. Both Saturday and Sunday had long lines.
- Visit when the weather isn’t too hot. I wouldn’t bother going if the temperature will be above 75 degrees. It was 70 when we went and it was warm but it was still difficult to stay hydrated.
- Bring plenty of water. We had 6 full gallons of water for 2 days and we knew we wouldn’t need that much but we did use 2 full ones.
- Pack snacks and a lunch. There is nowhere to buy food in the park. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere as well so you won’t really be able to buy food. There is a gas station about 14 miles outside the gate and other than that I think the nearest town is a half hour away.
- Don’t forget sunscreen.