Fire Wave, Valley of Fire, Nevada

One of my favourite spots in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada was Fire Wave.

I’m not sure if that’s because it’s a really spectacular spot or because I got the shot despite some people who really didn’t want me to get it.

Fire Wave, Valley of Fire, Nevada, by Anne McKinnell
Please click the images to view larger versions.

After driving for an hour and a half to the trailhead and hiking for hours and hours in the blazing sun (okay, it was only 30 minutes but it seemed like forever, I thought I was going to faint it was so hot – and it was only March!) we got there and the light was terrible.

It happens.

But what doesn’t usually happen is a bunch of rude photographers who thought they owned the place and left all their stuff all over everywhere so no one else was able to get a decent shot. People like that really piss me off.

That’s okay. It just made me extra determined and willing to endure another hike a few days later. You should have seen my smile when we got there and there were puffy clouds to meet us :)

Fire Wave, Valley of Fire, Nevada, by Anne McKinnell

That’s Ray standing up there. He’s a great model isn’t he?

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  1. Hilde De Winne says

    These are awesome! Valley of Fire is no doubt awesome. Didn’t go there on our Utah trip in May, because time was limited, and you have to make choices. Difficult choices. Glad to be able to see it through your eyes Anne! Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Such an amazing place, Anne. Glad you ‘endured’ that 30 minute hike again the second time, because you photographs of this area are super.

    • says

      Thank you very much Mary! It’s great to see you here, I’m a big fan of Green Global Travel. You always have such interesting articles on your site, I love following your and Bret’s journey. The valley of fire was indeed amazing, I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area. It’s only about an hour drive from Las Vegas.

    • says

      Thank Tim! What amazes me is how different the rock formation are from one place to the next. Yet there is always the same explanation (there was once an inland sea …. erosion … glacier … ) :)

  3. says

    Kudos for persevering Anne. I can’t stand going to certain places to encounter rude photographers. Most landscape photographers would prefer to have a scene to themselves clearly but the least we could do when another shows up is to be courteous. Make the most of a less than ideal situation.

    • says

      I totally agree. It doesn’t happen often that other photographers are rude like that. Usually we’re a pretty nice bunch :) I’ll never forget one time I was in antelope canyon and there was this one photographer who was doing long exposures and he kept screaming out “NO FLASH!!!” He was rather pissed off at the point and shooters who flashed and ruined all his long exposures. It was pretty funny but on the other hand I did sympathize with him. Thanks for your comments Richard.

  4. Joaquim says

    Hello, I am planing to visit Valley of Fire in late April, what time is the best to photograph the Fire Wave, sunrise or sunset?
    You have very nice photos of the place.

    • says

      Hi Joaquim, well I haven’t been there at sunrise, but it sure was beautiful at sunset because the light coming from the west falls directly on the wave and brings out the colour in the rock. Have a great trip!

  5. says

    Hi Anne! We were there at the end of march unfortunately we didn’t get the puffy clouds like you, but this image is awesome! I love when all of the elements come together for a perfect shot. We stopped at that park on the way back to Vegas after visiting Zion and Bryce. I’m so glad we did.

  6. Jenni says

    While Fire Wave is a beautiful destination, it is also a very dangerous hike in the heat. There is NO shade on this trail & the sun can take its toll on people. Multiple, avid hikers have been taken away in ambulances due to heat exhaustion & over exposure. Our desert weather is always taken for granted, & warnings are ignored. Please always carry more than enough water & pace yourself. Thanks for loving our park! Be safe & stay hydrated!


  1. […] There are other highlights in the state park which I was disappointed that we didn’t see. At one point we parked up at the track to the White Domes stood in the car park and then left two minutes later without any explanation of what was there and without taking the one mile round hike to see the the area, the slot canyon or the multi-coloured rocks, caves and windows.  We didn’t get to see Elephant Rock, Fire Canyon or Silica Dome and towards the end of the tour we were dropped off at the visitor centre to look around for 30 minutes. I feel the 6 hours we had could have been better spent seeing maybe just one set of Petrolglyphs and taking in one of the other park highlights i.e. one of the arches and the Wave of Fire. […]

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