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Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

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Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

Hi all,

I will be in Vegas in a few weeks and wanted thoughts on the feasibility of doing the following itinerary on one of the days..

1) Pickup rental car from Encore at about 8am

2) Drive to Valley of Fire (will take just over an hour according to research done)

3) Leave the park for about 12.30pm

4) Go to the Outlet mall North site (should be about 2 when we get there).

5) Get back to the Encore for 5pm deadline to return car (we are going to the grand canyon very early the next day so can't return it then unfortunately).

What does everyone think? Are 3 hours at VOF enough? We may have some time to finish shopping at the outlet mall on another day. But i just want to make the most of the car while we have it. But not venture so far out of Vegas that we miss the 5pm cut off!

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1. Re: Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

You can return the car after the rental desk is closed. There is a box where you leave the keys at the rental desk after hours. As long as it is back before the 24 hour rental period is up, you won't be charged anything extra. So no need to rush around.

Valley of Fire is gorgeous. If you don't plan on hiking any of the trails, 3 hours is more than enough time.

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2. Re: Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

You have time for a hike or two. THe best one by far in my opinion is the While Dome hike. It is here where they fimed a movie. It is a circle hike with a real cool middle part ( I won't ruin it for you). THe end of the hike brings you back to the parking lot. The hike may take you about 45 minutes but it is well worth the time. Bring your camera!!.



Saskatoon, Canada
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3. Re: Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

Loved the Valley of Fire when we went last year. 3 hours will be plenty unless you plan on doing a really long hike.

It's not on your plan, but we made a day of it by going to Hoover Dam and then driving along Lake Mead to the Valley of Fire. I absolutely love Lake Mead, the shoreline is so interesting and the color of the water is the most beautiful shade of blue. You have to pay 2 park fees to drive this route but it is well worth it.

Also thought I'd mention that there is not food available at the Valley of Fire. Leaving the park at 12:30, you may be looking for some food, so bring something with you.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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4. Re: Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

Try to grab a cooler with food and drinks before leaving town. Then no need to rush back as there is not much out there. White Dome is a nice hike and has the added benefit of taking you on a pretty drive. You can also stop and do the short hike to Mouse's Tank. Both of these hikes are very popular.

Naples, Florida
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5. Re: Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

Yes take lots of water and sunscreen and food if you want to eat. Make sure your hiking/tennis shoes don't have mesh. Mine did and I was so bogged down with sand I couldn't hike very far. It will also be very, very, very hot normally in Sept.

Edited to add even with the heat it was a great time.

Edited: 13 August 2012, 23:14
North Carolina
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6. Re: Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

I personally avoid the Valley of Fire. It really feels fiery hot in the summertime. Only in the winter do I venture there. No trees for shade.

Edited: 14 August 2012, 02:55
Winnipeg, Canada
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7. Re: Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

My DH and I just did this trip last week. The VoF is fantastic, don't miss it. It was very hot but fabulous. Don't speed. There are radar traps.

We also stayed at the Encore. Originally I had intended to rent a car from the Hertz counter at the Encore for our check-out at noon, drive the Lake Mead and VoF and return to Vegas for the evening and return the car to the Airport in time for our midnight flight out.

I found out that I could rent a car from Advantage through Priceline from the airport for the SAME PRICE for 4 days! Saved us cab fare and we did the short trip to Red Rock as well another day. Parking at the Encore is free.

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8. Re: Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

Thanks for the great advice.

I have mailed Encore/Hertz about dropping off the car after the desk has closed. When i try to book online it says i can't return the car after hours. Lets see what they say

And luv2travel, that sounds like a great deal but i have my heart set on one of the cars from the Hertz adrenalin range so looks like i'm locked into Hertz!

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9. Re: Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

To those who have been, I'd like your advice too.

I hope to arrive at sunrise to beat the heat, coming in at the west end. From what I read, gates open at sunrise. I want to take photos but I don't want to take huge hikes - several 1/2 mile treks at most. I'm guessing I'll have 3 or 4 hours before I give in to the September heat.

Could you suggest the "do not miss" areas. I've seen Mouse's Tank and White Dome on that list.

Silver Spring...
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10. Re: Valley of fire trip - Opinions please

nmsouthwest, I went a few years ago, and got there way before sunrise. The Visitor Center was closed, but the park was open. According to the VOF web site:

"The visitor center is open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30. The rest of the park does not close...[the entrance] fee is collected at the fee booth or at self-pay stations."