Over the years I’ve had my fair share of trips to Las Vegas. Each one has been unique, and exciting in their own way. When I was a child I fell in love with the roller coaster rides at Circus Circus. On another occasion during my college years, I enjoyed relaxing on the “beach” at Mandalay Bay. Last year, Steve and I stayed a little bit off of the strip and lounged by a pool and hot tub all day. Each one of these trips have been special and memorable and I’m lucky to have experienced them. However, the day trip that I’m about to share is for those adventure lovers out there. It’s what I consider to be the best day trip from Las Vegas!
We flew into Las Vegas with the plan to not actually spend too much time on the strip, rather, to take an adventurous day trip out of Sin City. We picked up our rental and headed to one of our favorite hotel chains- My Place Hotels! Every time we visit a My Place Hotel we feel like family and the Las Vegas location is no different. As we were getting checked in we chatted with the employees and they happily shared the recommendations of their favorite restaurants in the area. We love talking with the locals whenever we visit a new place to get their advice on where we should eat- they are usually right! After dinner, we ran back to our hotel room to catch our favorite show and snuggle in their oh so comfortable beds. We recommend staying here on this day trip because it is located just north of the strip and you won’t have to fight through busy traffic the next morning when you take off.
Valley of Fire State Park-
Valley of Fire State Park is located just under an hour north of Las Vegas. It is 40,000 acres of bright red sandstone outcrops with some very old petroglyphs, like 2,000 years old. The state park also has plenty of trails for all skill levels. You can even pack a lunch and enjoy it underneath one of the shaded picnic areas. Please note that this park does have a $10 entrance fee. Also, be aware that you’ll probably run into a lot of wildlife. The two times that we have stopped at the Valley of Fire we’ve seen plenty of bighorn sheep that seem to have no fear of the hikers or tourists.
Our Four Favorite Hikes-
Fire Wave Trail- This 1.5 mile out and back trail is good for all skill levels. If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting the Wave in Arizona but have not gotten lucky enough to win the draw, this is the trail for you. If you want those dramatic colors to pop, visit at sunrise or sunset.
White Domes Trail– Shorter than the Fire Wave Trail, this 1.1-mile trail leads to incredible views with little effort. It’s near Fire Wave so I would plan on doing both trails while you are at the park.
Elephant Rock Trail– The Elephant rock sits near the east entrance of the park where you can park .2 miles away and simply walk to it. My suggestion? Take the 1.2 mile round trip loop and enjoy the beautiful trail and wildlife. Once again, this trail is easy and is good for all skill levels.
Petroglyph Canyon– To get to Petroglyph Canyon, take the Mouse’s Tank Trail which equals out to about .8 of a mile. What we love about this trail is that it leads to this amazing canyon which is filled with prehistoric Indian petroglyphs.
As you can see all four of our favorite hikes are short and great for all skill levels so you can easily fit in all four during your one day in the park. If you are visiting during the summer, be very cautious of the heat and pack plenty of water. Our favorite time to visit Valley of Fire is anytime other than the hot summer season.
The Iconic Shot-
When I first saw this shot on Pinterest a year ago I knew that one day I was going to have to make it to this very spot! It was beautiful, had leading lines, and those incredible red rocks views. To find this spot you simply drive down the main road from the visitors center into the park. Right before you stop at the Fire Wave trailhead there is a small pull off on the right-hand side. There is a curve in the road with a large boulder. Climb up onto this boulder and you will see this iconic photo with your own eyes. For all those photographers out there, the best time to capture this is during sunrise.
We were hosted by My Place Hotels but all opinions remain our own.
Pin for later!