Near the center of the park, guests can find Rainbow Vista
, which offers panoramic views of multicolor rock. This area, along with much of Valley of Fire, is popular for wedding and engagement photos. Just south of the vista is Mouse’s Tank
, which is named after a Paiute Indian fugitive who discovered this rock depression that stored rainwater for up to six months tucked away among the rock formations. Adjacent to Mouse’s Tank is Petroglyph Canyon
, where visitors can explore some of the more notable engravings by ancient peoples. This area, along with various other park sites, is home to a covered picnic area.
What to Do
Valley of Fire is also features a visitor center
that features a souvenir shop and exhibits explaining the unique history of the region. Guests interested in exploring one of Valley of Fire’s many hiking trails can talk with a park ranger at the center for recommendations before embarking on their journey.
Charles Loop is a flat, 6.7-mile hike that encounters several landmark rock formations and the Captain John G. Clark memorial along the former Arrowhead Highway, the original route connecting Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. In 1915, Clark stopped his buckboard wagon, tied up his horse and died where the memorial sits today. While hiking the cool narrows of the 5.5 mile White Dome trail, and other trails, you may encounter evidence of park wildlife such as bighorn sheep, coyotes, kit fox and the white tailed antelope ground squirrel.
Camping & Park Information
The Valley of Fire state park has 72 campsites divided between two campgrounds: the main Atlatl Rock campground (includes showers) and the more secluded Arch Rock campgrounds (no showers). Both campsites are equipped with shaded tables, grills, restrooms and water. Campsites are $20 per night, and RV sites are $30 per night. All sites are first come first serve.
The Valley of Fire state park is open year round, and the best time to visit is when the climate is not so hot in late fall, or even better in early spring when the wildflowers are in bloom. Remember, the desert climate features extreme weather patterns. Be sure to pack more than enough water, especially if you’re visiting during summer when temperatures can reach 100 degrees or higher.