Thought about hiking Valley of Fire with your family? Nice easy hikes, petroglyphs and slot canyons make Valley of Fire fun and enjoyable family hiking! PS...if you are looking for some easy allergy friendly hiking snacks, check this out!
Several months ago my Mom decided to make the move and buy her own place. I've since heard about all the projects she has at her new place. She's offered several times to have my boyfriend and I down for the weekend to "come and see her new place." That is code for "come see my new place but bring him along because I REALLY need him more than you (manual labor and a list of projects, thanks!)."
Unfortunately my boyfriend and I couldn't get our schedules to mesh to go down by ourselves--with both of our work and school schedules and the kids schedules, holidays, concerts for the kids and more whatever time we've had has been devoted to trying to keep our own places intact. Date nights at Home Depot and Walmart? Check! Running kids to different events and watching them perform? Check.
When I first met my boyfriend I told him 1. Good luck with me. 2. I'm a layers kind of person. It was going to take a long, long, long time to get through a LOT of layers. He had a long time as my friend to decide if he wanted to fully invest and now that he has I send him back to #1 often which is good luck! 🙂 Because our life right now is very very busy and chaotic. And he would really need to embrace #1 if he was going to come on a trip.
During spring break he was able to finish up some work projects and decided he would tag along and help drive to my mom's house and get that list of chores done for her and be a second hand to help on hikes, etc. I am going to take this moment to say that blenderizing families is really tough. We are "blenderizing" right now. Slowly...I'm kind of a mix between a sloth, a turtle and a snail so this might be awhile.
See those shoulders and arms? Yeah all mine.
I decided to join him in the gym and am finally seeing some results after working out with him for a year. He is MEAN, MEAN in the gym. (Kidding, his workouts are just killer!!) Shoulder day is the WORST. But I've put on a lot of muscle and definition so i guess i can thank him while i shoot him dirty looks while we're at the gym.
This trip was a really tough step for me. I've spent a lot of years traveling alone with the kids. We have our traveling routine. We've done this trip a jazillion billion times so we got this down. He was so patient with all of us and my Mom whose to do list mysteriously seemed to grow and grow and grow while we were there.
One day we decided to head to Valley of Fire. Several of our hiking groups we are in take their kids down to camp down there and rave about it. Since it wasn't too far from my Mom's home, we decided to take my Mom and the kids for a day hike.
YES!!! Valley of Fire has now become one of my favorite family friendly hikes. The longest hike in the park is 4 miles. We opted to not do it this trip. We love that you can easily drive from one hike to another, giving kids a break between hikes. During lunch we stopped at one of the many picnic areas and our dog was thoroughly entertained by the lizards and squirrels. So were the kids. Valley of Fire is dog friendly--one of the reasons we brought her along. And there are lot's of bathrooms available. We suggest starting as early as you can in the morning spring-fall since you could easily spend the day hiking.
Here are our take aways and tips for having a good experience at Valley of Fire:
- You can camp here but plan on the hikes taking about two days if you opt to do all of the hikes in the park and depending on your kids ages. The one thing we love about Valley of Fire is it can easily be made into a day trip or overnight campout.
- Start early!!
- Bring snacks/lunches, etc. There are places to buy snacks right before you hit the Valley of Fire entrance. Don't forget the water too! I thought we had brought so much but we had barely enough to make it through the day.
- Plan out your hikes, we used this guide.
- Bring wipes and hand sanitizers...there are lot's of pit toilets.
- Sunscreen!! (This might be overkill but i keep it stocked. I also think most of these were half empty so please don't comment that you think i might have a sunscreen addiction. I'm pretty sure I just have an addiction to BUYING sunscreen because i think I'm out or won't have enough and when I scrounge through the house I find seven bottles of it).
- Wear comfortable clothes. you will heat up FAST!! The slot canyons in the morning or evening can be chilly too so depending on the time of year you might want some layers.
- Take your time. We had SO much fun on each hike. It took way longer than we anticipated because one kid would be into the petroglyphs, another climbing the rocks, and another enjoying trying to climb the slot canyon walls vertically with no arms.
This is how sad your dog will be when you leave. Your kids will be dying because they were perfectly happy all day without their electronics and now need to post all of their adventures on Instagram and SnapChat. *Sigh*
And this will be your family after you get home and showered:
And this will be your dog wanting more belly rubs from you when you torture her with a back yard bath and sanitize her mouth after she tried eating a lizard twice and now all you can picture when you see her is the tail hanging from her mouth and the poor lizards little legs flailing:
The image will quickly leave you though when you think about all the fun things you saw while on your hikes:
Wind Rock Formations:
Did we miss any tips or hints for hiking Valley of Fire? Please let us know!