Valley of Fire: Exploring the Fire Wave Trail

Fire Wave at Valley of Fire State Park
Fire wave trail

Fire Wave Trail at a Glance

Round Trip Mileage1.5 miles
Elevation Change~174 feet
Average Time1-2 hours
DifficultyModerate
Entrance FeesState Park Fee – $10 per vehicle, or $15 for non-NV plates (pricing subject to change). Note if the booth is closed then you need exact change cash only, otherwise they accept credit cards).
Rating5.0 Mooses
Our Hike Approximately 1.5 hours for our hike including pictures.
Fire Wave

How to get to the Fire Wave Trailhead

For details on how to get to the Valley of Fire, check out this guide of FAQs.

Once you arrive at the park, it’s easy to get to the trailhead.

You can find it by driving into the park and turning left on Mouses’s Tank Road (if you enter from the west part of the Park – this is most common when coming from Las Vegas). Follow signs that guide you towards “White Domes.”

Directions to the Fire wave Trailhead
Valley of Fire Directions

You’ll drive through what we feel is the most scenic part of the park. You’ll want to drive as slow as you can (without disrupting the flow of traffic), to take in the magnificent sights.

After driving past multiple parking lots, you’ll see a parking lot on the right about 1.5 miles up the road. There are several lots if it’s busy (and it does get busy) that you could stop at and walk to the trailhead in a pinch.

Purple wildflowers
Wildflowers at Valley of Fire

Know before you go

Fire Wave Trail sign
  • The Fire Wave trail is one of the most popular trails in the park and therefore it gets super busy. Don’t be surprised if you share the main attraction with many other hikers!
  • To beat the crowd, head up during the day (M-F) or be there around sunrise after the park opens. The worst time to visit is on the weekend, especially around sunset.
  • Coincidentally, the best time to visit is also at sunset. When the sun dips behind the horizon, the colors are magnified on the sandstone. This is the absolute best time to capture those beautiful pictures.
  • Pets are welcome to visit the trail, but must be kept on a leash the entire time (of not more than 6 feet in length).
Beautiful red rocks on fire wave trail

Safety Considerations

This is a desert hike and with any hike, there are inherent dangers on the trail. Use caution and take appropriate steps to keep yourself safe.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind for your visit. We recommend checking with park rangers at the visitor center to ensure you’re well prepared for any desert hike regardless of the distance.

  • Desert conditions can change rapidly, including wide temperature swings.
  • After desert rain, do not climb sandstone for 24 hours.
  • Flash flooding may occur during/after desert rain.
  • Stay on designated trails.
  • Cell phone service is unreliable.
  • Do not disturb or feed wildlife.
  • Bring extra food/water, hiking shoes/boots, hat/sunscreen, and check in/out with family or friends.

Visit or stay home?

Rating: 5.0 Mooses

5 Mooses Rating

What we liked:

  • The beautiful swirls of red and white sandstone dotting the landscape.
  • The trail was short and sweet, perfect if you’re low on time in the park.
  • We felt like the trail was easy, however the park considers this a “moderate trail.”

What we didn’t like:

  • The ease of access and popularity of the trail means you’ll be sharing this trail with many others. It gets super busy.
  • If you want the perfect photos, you’ll need to be there at sunset or sunrise and still get lucky that nature cooperates with the perfect lighting. It may take a few visits to get those perfect photos.

Verdict: We enjoyed our visit on the Fire Wave trail and would visit again if the cirucumstances were right (ie low crowds).

Red sandstone formations on fire wave trail
Fire Wave Trail
Red Rocks in Valley of Fire
Beautiful Red Rocks

More information for your trip to the Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire Popular Hikes

The End of the Rainbow Vista Trail
White Domes Trail in Overton NV

More information for your trip to the Valley of Fire