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Hiking GuidesNevada

Hiking Guide: Pink Canyon to Fire Wave

Fire Wave in Valley of Fire State Park

Overview

Pink Canyon (aka Pastel Canyon) is a short, narrow canyon in Valley of Fire State Park that is unknown by most. I highly recommend taking a jaunt through this otherworldly place during your visit to the Fire Wave.

Pink Canyon aka Pastel Canyon in Valley of Fire
Pink Canyon (aka Pastel Canyon) in Valley of Fire

This can be done as a side hike from the Fire Wave itself or by parking in a wash off of White Domes Road and entering the canyon directly to the east. At most, there are two parking spots here.

Note: DO NOT under any circumstance park in the wash or enter Pink Canyon if rain is in the forecast. Flash flood potential is extremely high!

If both spots are taken, continue up the road to parking lot #3, then follow Fire Wave Trail on foot to the Fire Wave and Pink Canyon.

Because it features a wave-like rock formation that doesn’t require a permit, Fire Wave is a great alternative to The Wave in Arizona.

Looking north at The Fire Wave
Looking north at The Fire Wave

Quick Facts

  • Distance: 1-2 miles
  • Hike Time: 2 hours (give yourself time to explore)
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: Minimal
  • Fee: $10 per vehicle
  • Dogs: Yes
  • Difficulty: Easy

Hiking to the Fire Wave via Pink Canyon

In February 2021, Kim, Maia, Arrow and I hiked to the Fire Wave from the entrance to Pink Canyon, located at 36.479570, -114.526650.

The sandstone in Pink Canyon has been shaped by water and wind into beautiful patterns
The sandstone in Pink Canyon has been shaped by water and wind into beautiful patterns

There was just enough room to park our one-ton pickup in the wash on the east side of White Domes Road. We used Gaia GPS to navigate our way up the canyon on the Seven Wonders Trail.

Maia and Arrow pose on the Fire Wave
Maia and Arrow pose on the Fire Wave

She probably wouldn’t admit it, but 3-year-old Maia had about as much fun rock hunting, making sand angels, and scrambling on sandstone as she does at the playground.

Maia and Kim walk on the Fire Wave
Maia and Kim walk on the Fire Wave

We saw a few groups of hikers headed toward Pink Canyon from the Fire Wave to check it out, but nobody else entered from the way we came.

Our approach was much quieter and more pleasant than it would’ve been if we had joined the throngs of people that started at parking lot #3.

Both on our way in and out, we spotted bighorn sheep by the side of the road
Both on our way in and out, we spotted bighorn sheep by the side of the road

Map

Location

From Las Vegas, follow I-15 northbound then take exit 75 onto Valley of Fire Hwy. Continue for 18.1 miles then turn left onto Mouse’s Tank Road/White Domes Road. Continue for 4 miles and park in the wash.

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