Trip Reports

Winter Camping at Valley of Fire State Park

If you ever find yourself in the Las Vegas area and like to spend time in the outdoors, do yourself a favor and make the 1 hour drive to Valley of Fire State Park.

The geologic formations here have created one of the coolest landscapes I have been fortunate enough to see in my lifetime. Somehow, forces of uplifting and erosion have stretched and sculpted the rock into distinguished arches, hoodoos, spires, and other shapes so strange they have no name.

The Valley of Fire has views reminiscent of red rock scenes you might find in southern Utah, but there is something unique that sets this particular location apart.

Kim, Arrow, and I had the privilege of visiting in early January, so there were minimal crowds and pleasant daytime temps. If you plan on going in the winter, be prepared for cold nights. When we were there it dropped well below freezing. (Source: I left Arrow’s water bowl outside and it froze solid overnight).

There are a handful of short hikes to do and loads of rocks to scramble on in the park. The rangers also allow rock climbing in certain areas. Make sure to consult the visitor center to find out more. We camped at Arch Rock Campground. Of the park’s two campgrounds, this one is better suited for tents in my opinion. Atlatl Rock Campground is more RV-centric.

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