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…
Anyways, I decided to come back to the desert, this time of my own free will. 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 as I wanted to escape from the tourists for a bit. 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 picked up early in the morning from my hotel and after picking up a small group of guests (we were 7 total), 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. In my group there were 3 people on ATVs including myself, a couple in a buggy, and one couple in a 4-seater vehicle. When we arrived to the starting point, our vehicles were already waiting for us.
I was a bit scared in the beginning as I’m a bad driver, not in terms of actual driving ability, but because it always makes me stressed. One would ask then why in the hell did I book a self-driving ATV tour to explore the Valley of Fire? Simply because I like to take challenges.
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 as 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.
Not only that, there were snacks and drinks for us at the driver’s vehicle so I started to wonder if it was the lunch included. Apparently I was wrong about that as 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 starting 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 the tour we also had time 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. The fact that each one of us could wander around for as long as we wanted to was great as the Valley of Fire has so many picturesque spots!
Considering my inexperience and fear of driving, 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, screamed, and to my surprise 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!
If you’re reading this it means that I survived my tour and I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat.