Are you interested in hiking the Fire Wave at Valley of Fire State Park? This Fire Wave hiking guide will answer any questions you have, and thoroughly prepare you for, the Fire Wave Hike in the Valley of Fire.
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Increasingly popular, the Fire Wave in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada is one of the highlights of the entire park. At least, it was for me. The rocky terrain, the bold oranges and red against white stripes, and a peaceful beauty surrounding the Fire Wave makes this location extra-special.
I took a solo road trip to the Valley of Fire during the hot season. Because of this, I left each morning very early to avoid the worst heat and stay safe in the desert. Once I reached the end of the short trail, I relaxed on the rocks, alone, and took it all in.
Blue skies, orange rock, and a rising sun. Peaceful. As if in a movie, a man began playing the pan flute off in the distance, which echoed off of the rock walls surrounded me.
The Fire Wave hike is an easy trek that most hikers will be able to complete without any problems. However, there are a few key things to note before you hike the Fire Wave!
Where is the Fire Wave in Valley of Fire State Park?
The first thing to note; the Fire Wave hike is not present on some older Valley of Fire State Park maps. It is a relatively new hike.
The drive from the West Entrance in Overton to the Fire Wave is roughly 35 minutes long. After paying your entrance fee ($10)at the toll booth, you will see a fun photo op directly to the right, and you will pass several sights like Elephant Rock.
Drive straight for 3.5 miles and turn right onto Mouse’s Tank Road. (Many people refer to this road as White Domes Road, but technically it is marked “Mouse’s Tank”). Take the first left, bypassing the Visitor’s Center to continue on Mouse’s Tank Road.
The parking lot to access the trailhead is roughly 4 miles past the Visitor’s Center, toward the end of the road, and with a sign marking “Parking Lot #3” on the left. The sandy trailhead is across the street, next to a small information sign. The photo below indicates exactly where the trailhead sits.
Hiking the Fire Wave at Valley of Fire State Park
The Fire Wave trail begins as a sandy orange path, heading toward the towering Gibraltar Rock. The hike inward continues mostly downhill, winding through several large orange rocks. Eventually, you leave the sand behind and begin hiking on dirt, and then ultimately, a solid rock floor.
On my first visit, I was surprised by two things. One, once you reach the dirt and solid rock portions, the trail becomes less obvious and the markers are few and far between. And two, the actual Fire Wave rock formation is a lot smaller than I had pictured!
Now, in the end, that detail didn’t ruin the hike. I’m just letting you know not to be looking for a giant red wave to lead your way. It is somewhat small and hidden. However, the entire rock structure that the Fire Wave is a part of is STUNNING!
The entire hike was approximately 1.5 miles in and out, and takes about 30 minutes each way. Leave a lot of extra time for photos and exploring. The orange and white striped sandstone is so beautiful, and was easily my favorite rock structure in the entire park.
There is more surrounding the Fire Wave in Valley of Fire than just orange and white striped rock. Tall peaks with pink and yellow taffy-like swirls can be seen in the distance and are also impressive.
Note: The Fire Wave in the Valley of Fire is a gorgeous spot for sunrise or sunset. However, all areas of the park close immediately after sunset through sunrise, with the exception of the campgrounds.
Best Time To Hike The Fire Wave
Valley of Fire State Park is best visited in spring and winter. In summer and fall, be prepared to leave early in the morning to avoid the intense heat.
The Fire Wave hike is rated “Moderate” by the park, but in my estimation it is more accurately labeled “Easy”. It’s a short hike with spectacular scenery.
The Fire Wave at Valley of Fire State Park was one of the highlights of the year for me, and has quickly become one of my favorite stops in the Mojave Desert. It is such a beautiful place to explore and I highly recommend a visit! If you are in Nevada, you should absolutely add a stop to the Fire Wave in Valley of Fire State Park to your trip.
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Have you been to the Fire Wave? Are you planning a trip to Valley of Fire? Let me know below!