Valley of Fire State Park is the oldest state park in Nevada (was dedicated in 1935) and is only about an hour away from the Vegas strip. If you are an avid photographer, you may wish to visit the park at sunrise or sunset, which will bring out the rich colors of the rock formations. This will also allow you to escape some of the heat, as it can get very hot in the area, especially during summer months, as there is no shade and nowhere to hide.
You can drive through the park and see the beautiful red rock formations from the road, however there are several pull off locations that are worth stopping at. In some areas, you will also see various different types of rocks coming together, creating formations with different colors. There are two things I would recommend seeing based on our experience. There are several places where you can see some petroglyphs. Following these trails, you can learn more about the lives of people who lived in this area long time ago as you follow the story captured on the surrounding rocks.
The other place worth seeing is Windstone Cave, a famous place, location of which has been unknown for a while but its coordinates have now been published. Famous photographs of this place have appeared in the National Geographic. I wish I could say I did so much research about Valley of Fire State Park that we knew we needed to visit it, the truth is we stumbled upon it by accident, however that does not make it any less worthy. The picture of the formations inside of this little cave is below.
Other popular rock formations include Fire Canyon Arch and Elephant Rock. Do not miss the opportunity to visit other beautiful places nearby such as Zion National park or the Hoover Dam.