2017 South West Road Trip: Day 1

I recently just got back from a road trip with my sister and dog. We traveled across 3 states all the while we hiked, camped, kayaked, and explored some of the most stunning landscapes. We were on the road for a total of 7 days and instead of trying to cram all that we did along with some product reviews and trip tips into one post I will be breaking it down day by day! Our first stop was Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. We stayed there a total of 2 days and one night. After going through the park entrance we went and search for a campsite, they have two campsite locations to choose from (Atlatl Campground which has 44 campsites, and Arch Campground which has 29 campsites). We camped in the Arch campsite. Once we set up camp we hiked Arch Trail since it was right next to our camp. This trail is full of stunning red rock figures and is great for any hiker that wants a nice easy stroll to start off their trip. Valley of Fire State Park has about 10 hiking trails to choose from so we had quite a difficult time choosing which ones to do in our short time we were there. After hiking Arch Trail we had to wait until the day cooled down a bit so both my sister, and dog Lenox, and I wouldn’t over heat. Once the heat settled we drove down the road and hiked Rainbow Vista Trail. This trail is stunning and has a variety of view full of colorful rocks all varying in different shades of yellow, red, orange, and purple!! This is another fun trail to do, but I would not recommend doing it in the heat of the day as there is no shade and can get hot very fast. Once we finished the hike we headed back to the campsite and relaxed admiring the stunning landscape around us and got ready for dinner. When camping at Valley of Fire I would highly recommend sleeping in an RV or Campervan. At night the valley get very strong gusts of wind and can make it difficult to sleep in the tent. We learned this very quick and retreated to the car and ended up spending the night in there.

Valley of Fire State Park Info:                

 -How to get there: There are two entrance/exits. One is for those coming from California/Las Vegas area, and the other is for those coming from Utah/Overton, Nevada. In the morning you have to enter and go through a self-pay. Once the office opens (8:30am) you are greeted by a ranger that takes your entry fee and gives you a map to the park.  

-How much does it cost: To enter the park there is a $10 fee. The park is open from sunrise to sunset. If you wish to camp it is $20 per night plus the park entry fee. When camping, there are self-pay stations, which are located in each camp ground. When leaving, you turn in a slip and show you payed the $10 entry fee along with your camping slip. You are not allowed to reserve a campsite. Everything is first come first serve.                  

-What to bring: If you are just day hiking be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. It gets very hot and most of the trails are not shaded what so ever. Be sure to bring whatever hiking pack you favor and have snacks ready as well because you will want to stay fueled while hiking. I would also recommend wearing sturdy hiking boots. The sand can get very hot and there is rough terrain on some of the trails. If you are camping be sure to have a sturdy tent, and plenty of camping supplies. The campsites only provide bathrooms and trashcans, and water. Some spot have hook ups for RVs but they fill up fast. Each campsite does have a table and fire pit but the visitor center is open 8:30am-4:30pm and they one sell snack and drinks, souvenirs, and books.

-What to look out for: Snakes!! This is a desert climate and it is warming up so be careful of snakes. I would also advise to keep a look out for cacti. There are lots of small bushels of them around and can easily be missed when on the trails. The trails can get pretty crowded between 11am and 4pm so I would advise hiking before and after these times if you want more privacy on the trails. All the trails are clearly labeled and hard to miss, and each trail head has a bathroom. Be prepared to get dirty! If you are camping get there early because the campsites fill up quickly.

Trip Gear Sponsored by:

  • Rumpl
  • Keep It Wild Co.
  • Best Bully Sticks 
  • Organik-9
  • Goodwolf Design Co.
  • Zuke's
  • Alcott

Trail Information: 

Arch Trail

         Distance: 4 miles (round trip)

         Trail Type: Out and Back

         Elevation: 324 Feet

         Difficulty: Easy

         Dog Friendly: Yes

         Trail Description: This trail is a stunning hike that features beautiful red and orange rock formations. The trail is mainly used for hiking, walking, nature excursions, bird watching, and site seeing. The trail is open year round to the public. The path consists of dirt and sand, but mostly sand so at times can be challenging to walk in if not wearing the proper shoes.

Trail Information:

Rainbow Vista Trail

         Distance: 1.1 miles (round trip)

         Trail Type: Out and Back

         Elevation: 164 Feet

         Difficulty: Easy

         Dog Friendly: Yes

         Trail Description: This trail is a very easy and beautiful hike that is full of colorful rocks, canyons, and sand that is an out and back hike. It is mainly used for hiking, walking, and observing it’s scenic views. The trail is open year round to the public and is very easy to get to. Parking is limited so be sure to get there early. The path consists of dirt and sand, but mostly sand so at times can be challenging to walk in if not wearing the proper shoes.