Valley of Fire                                     
  Home > Nevada > Las Vegas > Valley of Fire State Park > Preparing for a visit
   
As you can see the typical terrain in the Valley of Fire is very colorful but can also be very challenging. The distances, the heights and in the summer, the heat are all factors that effect what you can do and what you need to be ready for to have a safe visit.
Hikers at the Seven Sisters - Valley of Fire
The What to Bring List:

Water - half to full gallon per person, very depending on the length of time and temperature;
Hats;
Long sleeve shirt and pants - (this keeps the sun from directly heating your skin - in case you were wondering);
Sunglasses;
Sun blocker.

Do's
Stay on the trails.

Don't
Ever leave kids in cars unattended;
Reach under bushes or rocks, or into crevices and caves;
Go into caves;
Step on bushes or pants - you could get spiders or other insects on you - they bite;
Don't forget the film.

The best and most immediate preparation for the Valley of Fire is to have plenty of water. A good rule of thumb is to bring about a gallon per person depending on size.
Looking north at Rainbow Vista - Valley of Fire
The summer months see temperatures in excess of 120 Fahrenheit in the afternoons. This is not an environment that you want to trifle with. It is unforgiving and heat takes lives every year in the deserts around Las Vegas.

You should bring a hat, long sleeve shirt, long pants, preferably Levi's, sturdy tennis shoes or boots. Sunglasses are optional but in the midday sun you will appreciate them. Sunblock would be a good idea even if you do not plan to get out of the vehicle.

The Valley of Fire is one of those parks where you do not really need to get of of your vehicle to see most of it. However, to see Atl Atl Rock, The Mouse's Tank and Petroglyph Canyon, you will need to get out of your vehicle. Atl Atl Rock is a short walk and a climb up some steep stairs for about a dozen or so meters.

The challenging hike is The Mouse's Tank and Petroglyph Canyon. This is about half a mile through a hot, narrow - although a spectacularly beautiful - canyon with a sanding, sometimes rocky floor. This is not a hike that you want to take small children on in the summer. It gets hot early and the heat effects smaller children sooner than adults. Unless they are used to desert heat, you might not want to take them on that hike.

If you are bringing children, do not plan to leave them alone in the vehicle for any length of time. That is illegal in this county. The exception is of course if you are camping there. The local officials get very upset if children are left unattended in a car for example.

It is recommended that hiking be done on established trails. There are many reasons for this. A really good reason is those pesky rattlesnakes. The peak time for rattlesnakes in Clark County is April to middle May. Rattlesnakes do not like the hot sun. Thus the safest time to hike around, (on the trails and staying away from bushes, rocky ledges and large objects that might have something under them), would be at the hottest time of the day.

In the last half century or so only one person has died from snake bite in Southern Nevada. While their bites can be fatal, they are usually dealt with successfully. They don't like us and they don't want to eat us. They want to be left alone. In one of my encounters with a snake, I was reaching for what I thought was a basket, or piece of a basket. As I reached for it the snake reared up and hissed at me. In that instance I realized that I was trying to pick up a snake(!!!) not a basket fragment. I then set the world record for the 100 meter dash rocky mesa slopes. In other words, you might want to consider what you reach for or try to pick up and where you are picking it up at.

 

 
 
 
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