Hoooo boy! Buckle up, desert lovers and destination elopers! A land of dust and color awaits you in the Valley of Fire. Words truly can’t describe this state park’s boundless beauty and epic landscape. You will feel like you are walking on Mars – both in terms of the bright orange rocks that make up the dramatic scenery, and the scorching heat. And the Mars scenes from Total Recall were filmed here, as well as an iconic scene in Star Trek. There are great ways of avoiding the 100+ summer temperatures and making this your incredible desert elopement location. Keep reading to get inspiration on how and where to have your elopement at Valley of Fire!
Valley of Fire is a Nevada State Park, about 50 miles’ drive northwest of Las Vegas at the northern tip of Lake Mead. The entrance fee is $10 per vehicle, and it has two campgrounds with showers which is clutch for those who wish to stay in the park during their Elopement, which I recommend! It’s so peaceful to wake up to the birdsong in the canyons and camping out also allows you to appreciate the cool temperatures in the early morning and the stars in the evening. An early morning or sunrise elopement or photo session here would be out of this world in any part of this park. Some of my favorite photo spots are around the campground areas, and there’s even a small arch within the park. Petroglyphs from ancestral puebloans or Anasazi peoples are visible throughout if you know where to look. You can also spot herds of bighorn sheep climbing the rocks in front of the crisp mountains in the background.
I also saw (See also: screeched and pulled over almost recklessly to observe) a Gambel’s Quail, and I pulled some fishing wire out of a lizard’s mouth after a 30-minute game of cat-and-mouse with the elusive lizard. No photos of that, but I hear from my husband that it was pretty funny to watch! The park is probably best known for Fire Wave, a red and white layered rock formation with a spiral twist, and it is a gorgeous end to this simple hike. Fire Wave would make an amazing photo location after an intimate wedding at Valley of Fire. Different times of day look vastly different here, as the changing light casts shadows and brings out the red and pink hues of the rock and sand you’re walking on. Look at this MAGIC!
The White domes hike is perhaps my favorite hike on this continent, right up there with Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain NP and the Queens’ Garden trail in Bryce Canyon NP. Located at the northernmost point of the park, the loop trail is actually one of the least visited parts of the park WHICH MAKES NO SENSE. IT IS INCREDIBLE. I did this hike twice during my last visit.. in the same day.. at sunrise and sunset – and would have gone back the next day if I’d had more time! Both early and late hours of the day provide some shade here and there, and a gorgeous slot canyon right in the middle is the perfect spot to rest. If you’re craving adventurous elopement photos, this is the best location ever! I also found what I thought was a Gila monster wedged between some rocks – and I thought my life was made and I could never top that moment.. until several hours later when I learned I’d only seen a Chuckwalla (sorry Chuckwalla fans). The colors of this canyon are insane – vaulted white domes and orange, pink, red and brown rocks paired with plenty of ground vegetation in the spring make this one of the most beautiful places to elope in all of the desert southwest. We are DEFINITELY stopping here for your Valley of Fire elopement photos after the ceremony! Not even negotiable. Don’t even ask.
The Seven Sisters area has several picnic shelters that provide some much needed shade, and this is one of the 4 places within Valley of Fire that you can have your Elopement ceremony. The “Sisters” are a group of seven large, freestanding orange rocks, with texture for DAYS. I love that this area has the steep and desolate mountains in the background, and plenty of places to explore. While this is a popular picnicing spot, there is ample opportunity to get away from the crowded areas by walking around and between the rock formations. I love the rich color of this spot for a daytime elopement in Valley of Fire.
You can also elope at a small group of stone houses set directly into the red rock background at a secluded picnic area. The shade of the dwellings and privacy of this hidden spot makes this a great spot to Elope in valley of Fire. The surrounding canyons are fun to explore and there’s a sandy wash just a stone’s throw away that would make for an amazing intimate ceremony.
You can also elope near the Visitor’s center, and most folks who stop there only venture inside, so it’s actually less crowded than you’d expect, with fun rocky towers and mountain views to enjoy. Ravens dominate the visitor’s center area and I’ve also heard it’s the best place to start a gila monster hunt. The last spot to elope in Valley of Fire is Rainbow Vista. This spot has miles of colorful rock as far as the eye can see and is breathtaking at any time of day. This popular spot is also the trailhead for the fire canyon trail, which is a one mile hike that ends in a stunning viewpoint. Rainbow Vista is the best spot for offroad couples who want to have an adventure elopement in Valley of Fire. Imagine making this hike at dawn, hand in hand with your partner and sandwiched between the deep red glowing rock, and taking in the dawn light together before your intimate elopement ceremony at rainbow vista. I cannot think of a more incredible location to plan your desert elopement, and YOU are the special sauce; the missing ingredient!
The are tons of amazing spots for elopement photos in Valley of fire, including the beehives, elephant rock and the pink canyon. It is truly a park you have to see for yourself – hopefully hand in hand with your person. Is there anything more romantic than sharing a new adventure together?
Lastly, I know of a hot spring oasis just outside the park that would also make an incredible location for your elopement at Valley of Fire. There are just so many options!