Nevada’s Valley of Fire – the Fire Wave

Do you love the red rocks of the southeast and need a break from Las Vegas? If so, then drive an hour to Valley of Fire State Park. When you arrive, make your way to the “secret” Fire Wave.

Fire Wave
Valley of Fire

Facts To Remember


Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 1.5 miles round trip / approx 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 174 feet
Starting Elevation: 2,035 feet
When To Hike: Year Round (Sunrise to Sunset Only)
Permits: Park Fee Required
Pets Allowed: Yes but leashed
Starting Location:  Park at Parking #3 Fire Wave Area
Time of Year: July, 2020

Getting to the Fire Wave

Valley of Fire is a great State Park and is only an hour northeast of Las Vegas. There are plenty of hikes both short, like the Fire Wave, and long, like Prospect Trail. The drive through the park is just like the picture below. Just spectacular!


The parking area is in the northern side of the park. Just follow White Domes Scenic Byway north until you see the P #3 sign for parking. The trailhead is across the road from the parking area.

Couple Informative Signs

Surprisingly the trail is only open during daylight hours. Not so cool if you want to capture the night sky at the Fire Wave.

Hiking the Fire Wave

The trailhead starts as a sandy trail and leads toward Gibraltar Rock which is a huge landmark. The trail becomes less sandy and more rocky and you will pass many large boulders.

The colors of the sand, rocks, and plants make for nice photos.

Unique Landscape

The landscape changes are you get closer to the fire wave. This area is like another world. Some rocks are fully red and others are white and red. The ground is wavy then other areas are layered.

Just before reaching the wave, there is an area with thousands of small black rocks. They don’t look like they belong and look like someone placed them here.

Fire Wave

Several years ago the fire wave wasn’t listed in the Valley of Fire park map. It was a “secret” location but not so secret if you did some research. It’s now been added to their map and the secret is out. It’s a very short hike and can get busy. When we arrived, we had it completely to ourselves. Very lucky of us.

Scenery Around the Fire Wave

The scenery around the wave is fantastic. The various shades of red, orange, brown, white and yellows are really nice. Typical red rock!

Hiking Back

We enjoyed the hike so much, we forgot to take the standard photos of us but we got these. 😉

360 Shot from the Top

360 Video

Our Thoughts

We love Valley of Fire and really enjoy the Fire Wave trail scenery! We’ve visited a few times and look forward to going again. For such a small park, it really offers a lot. Many interesting sights, some fun hikes, big horn sheep and camping in the park. There are red rocks everywhere for climbing and exploring and some pretty wild formations.

We camped and every night we were visited by a group of thirsty big horn sheep looking for water. We gave them water and became friends. Camping in July is hot so be prepared. Each night the temps were in the high 90s. 🙁

If you go, you won’t be disappointed. Until next time…

Are you Considering This Hike?

Check the weather, if rain or bad weather is expected, this would be better done another day
Wake up early and start your hike before sunrise
It’s a short hike but very exposed to the sun

Hike Recommendations

Water: Always bring plenty of water as summer temperatures can be very high
Food/Snacks: Always bring some food
Hiking Sticks/Poles: Poles will reduce the impact on knees and leg muscles

More Useful Information

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park Map

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