Staying out in the desert for the night allows you to thoroughly enjoy the quiet surrounding and kick back with some friends. The park offers two different areas -- one for group camping and the other is a mix of RV and regular campsites. The campground provides a small shaded area, a picnic table and fire pit which is about all you really need.
Camping can be a tad crowded on busy weeks or long weekends. We would advise you to try and steer clear from the crowds and visit in the middle of the week. The fees are modest at $20 per night and an extra $10 if you have an RV and want the utilities hookups.
The park is really a two-day event if you want to take your time and see everything. Thus, staying over in the park will allow you a little extra time to visit some areas you might have overlooked the day before.
The north part of the park is interesting and shouldn't be missed. It is much more wide open and offers great views into the distance (as seen below). Unique to the north section is the contrast between the pearly white rocks and fiery red rocks which makes for a great backdrop for pictures. On a cloudy day, you can even look out into the distance and see the shadows move across the wide open spaces. The area isn't as busy which can be nice if you area looking to hike or bring a blanket and have yourself some lunch.
Another neat stop on the trails is the old "cabins" that were, at one point, used as a camping area. Unfortunately, the cabins are no longer available for public use as places to stay, however, the insides are really interesting to look through and the surrounding area offers many spots to hike around. There is also a large covered picnic area at this stop so its the perfect spot to stop and explore.
Lastly, we have ignored mentioning the visitors center, but figure we should. It's filled with a ton of information. Everything from geology of the rock formations to a complete history of the area can be found there. They also have rotating exhibits containing different insects, plant species and more. It can be an interesting walk, but if you are in a time crunch we advise skipping it altogether and getting to what this park does best, the views!
Whether you chose to stay overnight or just make a day of it, the Valley of Fire should be considered a top destination for those wanting an off Strip adventure. Have you stayed overnight? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!
[Photos: Nevada State Parks]