Valley of Fire State Park is about an hour outside of Henderson. The park features stunning red-rock scenery, a visitor center, and an extensive system of fascinating hikes. Several of the hikes are suitable for families and kids.
$10 Per vehicle
$75 for an annual pass to all Nevada State Parks
additional fees for camping or hookups
29450 Valley of Fire Hwy
Overton, NV 89040
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The park is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can use the hiking trails from sun up to sun down. Outside of those times, the only activity permissible is at the campsites.
At the park entrance you will pay for the vehicle and be given a map. However, I suggest printing the map available online to take with you. If you plan on seeing the visitor center, the large map inside is also much more detailed than the one you receive at the entrance.
Parking is available at each trailhead. You can choose a trail that is the right length for your group.
The most important factor to consider is the weather. There are warnings all over the park about heat stroke and dehydration. I wouldn’t visit June-September.
WHAT TO TAKE
Water is essential year-round. Bring enough for everyone in your group. Sunscreen is also important. I also suggest sunglasses and hats. I would consider a stroller useless, so bring a hiking backpack or other type of baby carrier for the littlest hikers. There are places with tables if you want to pack a lunch or snacks.
We went with a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old in May over Memorial Day weekend. This was a mistake, as it was MUCH too hot. We parked at the visitor center and bought some extra drinks. The Balancing Rock “trail” is right by the visitor center and is less of a hike and more of a short walk to an interesting formation with – you guessed it – a balancing rock. Then we got back in the car and drove up to Mouse’s Tank Trail. This trail was also not too much of a “hike,” but a walk through surprisingly red and a surprisingly lot of sandy trail (mostly flat). The scenery was interesting. We saw some lizards and some really neat petroglyphs. We climbed up a crevice into a little hollowed out spot and jumped off rocks. The trail was about .75mi round trip, but we didn’t actually make it to the end point, where Mouse’s “Tank,” a hollowed out portion of rock is, because we were running short on water, it was too hot, and I was worried about the little guys.
WHAT WE LIKED
There were so many different hikes of various difficulty and length that I felt there were options for us. The terrain was so different from anything we see in everyday life.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
It was a pretty long drive for the short amount of time we spent there, due to the heat. This wouldn’t be an issue if we went during milder temperatures and made a day of it.
WILL WE GO AGAIN
Yes definitely. We want to experience some of the other hiking trails.