Las Vegas for Dog-Friendly Camping

It’s kind of strange how many camping destinations aren’t very friendly when it comes to having dogs in the park. I guess it has a lot to do with preserving the area and protecting the native wildlife, but I imagine people are just as bad on an environment, if not worse than a dog. But I’m not an environmental scientist, so forget and forgive my off the cuff rambling while I get to my point that Valley of Fire State Park is absolutely great for camping with your dog.

We had a random job setting up for a conference in Las Vegas and took the opportunity to go camping while we were out this way. On a whim we decided on Valley of Fire and it was a great decision.

Having only heard of Valley of Fire a little, we did a little searching online and saw a plethora of awesome hikes and odd geographic formations so we were pretty excited to venture in. It was a little less than an hour away with a gas station at the exit where you’d get off the highway to go to the park (if you need to load up on firewood, snacks, or alcohol).

The site are incredibly well maintained with a small sheltered picnic area in each tent site along with a potable water spigot and bathrooms and showers close by. The entrance fee is $10 which goes towards your $20 camping fee the first night if you’re going to stay, meaning you’d only have to pay an additional $10 to camp. Each additional night is another $20 which can add up quick if there’s not a lot of you staying together.

The park is beautiful and all of the trails we encountered were pretty mellow. All of them allowed dogs. A lot of the sites don’t even require a hike, just a simple drive into the parking lot and then you’re there.

My favorite stops were the Beehive, Silica Dome, and Elephant Rock (short walk up), with the best hike being the one to Rainbow Vista, which looks more like miles of bacon than rainbows to me, but maybe I just had bacon on the mind.

I saw a few individuals and groups of people who looked like they were in town for the conference and decided on either camping out or taking a day trip from downtown Las Vegas. Either way, Valley of Fire is definitely worth a visit however long you plan on staying. We went in wintertime and it got pretty cold at night, but daytime temperatures were perfect once the sun came out.

Where I stayed / started

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