The first time I visited Las Vegas in 2009 I was left in the desert with my friend against my will. Yes, you read that correctly – I was stuck in the desert near Barstow with my friend and a Russian guy for almost 6 hours until we were rescued by a Mexican bus. However, that’s a story for another time… I decided to go back to the desert, this time of my own free will.
Ever since I saw photos on the internet I knew I wanted to make it to the Valley of Fire. Valley of Fire is an easy day trip from Las Vegas and I found a great way of exploring it: on an ATV. The area was dedicated as a State Park in 1935, making it Nevada’s first.
The Best ATV Tour in the Valley of Fire: Day Trip from Las Vegas
While in Las Vegas I knew that I wanted to see some of the surrounding areas that many people often forget about. There are tons of possibilities not too far away, such as day tours to Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and even Zion National Park.
I chose to go to the Valley of Fire instead of the iconic Grand Canyon that I saw from a helicopter as driving to the Grand Canyon takes more time and you don’t actually get to spend that much time on location. That being said, I think I made the best possible choice: I booked a self-driving ATV tour in the Valley of Fire.
I was in love with the surroundings the moment I arrived. The fiery red sandstone glistened in the sun looked so colorful like if they were on fire.
Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire isn’t the most popular attraction, receiving approx. 300,000 visitors each year (vs Grand Canyon approx. 6 million). That’s good news for you, as you won’t experience any crowds there despite being just 6 miles from Lake Mead and 55 miles north of Las Vegas Strip.
Its red rocks formations happened over 150 million years ago when dinosaurs walked on this planet due to continent moves and erosion. As there were a lot of caves, Indians use to hunt and live there. We can now see drawings from over 3000 years old on some rocks!
My ATV tour
I was picked up early in the morning from my hotel and after picking up a small group of guests (we were 7 total), and we drove to the base to pick up the equipment for our tour. We all got a helmet and goggles as it can get dusty in the desert and then we were ready to continue to the Valley of Fire.
The company that organized the tour – SunBuggy, offered a few options for vehicles: an ATV, a buggy car, and a bigger 4-seater vehicle. I got an ATV.
After my guide taught me everything about my ATV, I was ready to go. What was cool about this tour was that we weren’t just driving one after the other the entire time. We were free to do what we wished. We could stop whenever we wanted to take some photos, rest, or whatever else. There was no rush and our guides were making sure everyone was fine and going at their own pace.
At the end of the tour we were taken to a small American diner called Tiffany’s Pies and Subs for a real lunch. We could order anything we wanted to start from sandwiches, wraps, salads, shaved ice, and chips. The place was delicious, so if you’re ever in Logandale it’s definitely worth a try.
During my tour I got to do some climbing so I jumped at the opportunity pretty much instantly. Even though I only explored a few rocks in the Valley of Fire, I think it’s a pretty good place for a climbing amateur. Valley of Fire has so many picturesque spots!
Considering my inexperience and fear of driving an ATV, it was inevitable that I would encounter a few problems on the road. When I was trying to ride up quite a big hill, my ATV refused to cooperate and started sliding down.
I got scared and screamed but I got helped in less than a minute! Never have I experienced such quick and effective crisis help. That’s why at the end of the tour I was even jumping on the dunes on my ATV! And if you’re reading this, it means that I survived my tour. I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat.
Do you have any questions about the Valley of Fire? Share your thoughts!