Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park / Overton, NV
After arriving at Valley of Fire State Park around 11am on a Saturday, we were lucky enough to score one of two remaining camping spots Atlatl camp site. These sites are stunning, they come equipped with a fire ring, grill, table, and metal canopy; and are in the heart of the red rocks. For $20 a night you cant beat it. The only downer is there seems to always be wind here, but that doesnt really bother me. Site 9 has a nice wind block but that is about all I saw. Otherwise bring a hammer and some stakes for your tent if you're tent camping. They also have sites for RVs with hook ups which is awesome. You really only need one full day at Valley of Fire in my opinion, it’s not a huge park and the hikes are short. We packed some snacks and started hiking by 1pm. Our first hike was Mouse Tank to see the petroglyphs, which were amazing. That took us maybe half an hour, after which we proceeded to Fire Wave. That took us about 45 minutes and was a really cool hike. My favorite though was White Domes. There was a small slot canyon that was 60 yards long or so, and the scenery was really beautiful. After that we drove to Elephant Rock but didnt get out of the car, as you didnt need to in order to see it. We went back and ate dinner, and then drove back out to catch Rainbow Trail Lookout at sunset. I didnt account for it being in a canyon though, and the entire canyon was shaded but it was still cool to see.
My favorite part about this State Park is that its basically a dead zone. There is a pay phone at the Visitors Center, which I actually had to use due to the no cell phone reception which I wasnt counting on. But it was a nice break to be completely checked out from everything. I got to focus on using my Nikon as opposed to always defaulting to my cell phone camera which was a nice creative outlet.
Overall I would really recommend Valley of Fire and think its a great family vacation as the hikes are easily accessible for kids.
NOTE: all the hikes are in soft sand, so while they are short they arent a walk in the park. It also gets really hot so bring water.