Trip length: 2 days
Trip distance: ~7 miles/day
Terrain Rating: Easy
We came to the Valley of Fire after an unsuccessful attempt at Death Valley National Park because of the Gov't Shutdown. I still want to go to Death Valley, but we were extremely happy with our detour! There was a heavy influx of visitors because of the shutdown. We even talked about it on a local news station.
Valley of Fire State Park is a unique state park 1 hour from Las Vegas. Entrance fees are ~$10 and camping fees are ~$20. The great thing about state parks is that you can bring pets along, so feel free to bring fido! Just remember to clean up after your pup and make sure (s)he stays on the trails. There is a great trail map online here. The Valley of Fire is best explored by setting up camp and heading to the multiple trailheads. It's also a good day trip option if you're looking to get away from the Vegas craze.
We started off our trip in Vegas, where we rented a little Cruise America RV. This was our first stop of a week long trip, so we went with the RV instead of a car. After getting to the Valley of Fire, we set up camp at Atlatl Campground. There are shower facilities, hook-up options, and places to hang hammocks! The campground is surrounded by the red rock and makes it a beautiful place to stay.
From there, we set out to explore the different areas of Valley of Fire. First stop: Rainbow Vista Trail. This short 1 mile trail offers wide sweeping views of the beautiful red rock. The path here is sand, so you can easily wear chacos instead of sneakers/hiking shoes. Next you can go to Mouse's Tank Trail. At night, we went to see the Seven Sisters monument and explored around Old Arrowhead Road before watching the sunset and moonrise.
At night, we went back to our campground to make a fire and cook dinner. I'll let you in on a little camping hack. Instead of bringing an overhead light, turn your headlamps and water bottle into one!
Make sure you check out the bottom of this post for some simple camping recipes. It's important to refuel after a long day of hiking under the sun. I always try to maximize flavor and nutrients with a minimum amount of shopping and food weight.
The next day, we set out to explore the Prospect Trail and White Domes Loop. To solve for the 2 car problem, we only did around 3 miles of the Prospect Trail before turning around (not a loop trail unfortunately). We drove up to the White Domes parking lot for the 1 mile loop. This area has so many beautiful rocks, some with yellows/pinks/reds. Again, the grade is extremely mild and the trail is either soft sand or soil, so sneakers are fine. Be sure to bring lots of water! There isn't any shade around here unless you hide under a rock.
- 4L of water per day
- Sunscreen and Buff Headband
- Bagel, Justin's almond butter, 2 granola bars
- Chacos, Nike running shoes, running shorts, non-cotton t shirt
- Canon DSLR and tripod
- Standard daypack
RV Camping recipes:
Chicken & Rice - 2 chicken breasts, easy cook wild rice, broccoli, evoo, salt/pepper, rosemary, chili flakes
- Cook your easy cook wild rice in a pot either on the stove or on a fire
- Pound 2 chicken breasts and season with salt, pepper, olive oil and rosemary
- Grill chicken on top of your campfire grate until there is no pink left
- After your rice is done cooking, boil up water and boil broccoli for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and red pepper chili flakes
Breakfast Sandwiches - King's hawaiian rolls, deli meat, cheese, eggs
- Cut your hawaiian rolls in half and slightly toast them on your pan
- In another pan, scramble your eggs making sure they stay fluffy and don't overcook
- Put your deli meat and cheese on top of the hawaiian rolls.
- Place the assembled roll on a hot pan to melt the cheese
- Put eggs on top and complete your breakfast sandwich!
Breakfast Potatoes - Red potatoes, rosemary, salt/pepper, aluminum foil
- Dice your potatoes and season with olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Wrap them up in aluminum foil and cook over your fire, about 15 minutes.