Ride Area Review – Valley of Fire

Ride Area Review – Valley of Fire

2013.can-am.maverick1000.yellow.front.riding.down-rocks.JPGMost people don’t associate Las Vegas with riding, but within a couple hours of the city there are several very good riding areas.  Our favorite is the Logandale Trail System.

The Logandale Trail System is 45,000 acres and over 200 miles of desert riding located about an hour Northeast of Vegas.  The system is part of the Valley of Fire State Park, and is a multi-use system open to hikers, horseback riders, campers, rock climbers, and off-road enthusiasts.   Many of the trails are “mixed use” with several types of vehicles sharing the same trail, but there are some trails suitable only for particular types of vehicles such as ATVs, UTVs and Jeeps, or motorcycles.   Because of the widely varying terrain within the park, some trails are definitely more challenging, especially those with severe climbs or descents through rocky sections.   There’s really something for everybody at the Logandale Trail System.  Park managers have done a very good job of balancing the recreational opportunities for all in the park, but they haven’t left out our animal friends.  The park is also home to creatures big and small including:

  • Desert Tortoise
  • Chuckwallas –  These lizards defend themselves by filling their stomach with air to make it difficult for predators to pull them from their homes.
  • Gila Monsters –  The only poisonous lizard found in North America.
  • Desert Bighorn Sheep – Several herds in the park
  • Bald Eagles
  • Gambels Quail
  • Tarantualas – Not the fun sized ones, BIG ONES!
  • Snakes

It was a thrill seeing a couple different herds of Bighorn sheep in the park during our riding adventure.  They seemed barely concerned with our presence, and we were often within 50 to 100 yards of the sheep that casually crossed the trails and effortlessly climbed cliffs and ledges that were nearly vertical.  As with any riding adventure, you’ll want to be aware of any local wildlife and take care not to harm the animals or their homes.  We have to look out for them too! 2013.can-am.maverick1000.yellow.front.riding.over-desert.JPG 

Trail Report

The road to the Logandale Trail System trail head is very deceiving.  From a distance, it looks like most of the desert, mostly dry and bleached with some scrub brush on mildly rolling terrain.  As you round the last turn and approach the staging area, however, the view quickly opens up and it’s easy to see why this place is called the “Valley of Fire.”  Bright, red rocks meet cliff faces that look as if they have been burnt, and red sand hills are scattered along the base.  It’s incredibly beautiful!  Hollywood noticed the beauty of this area too and quite a few movies and commercials have been shot here, all of which is part of the Moapa Valley.  You won’t be disappointed with the view, and we guarantee you can take a great picture in this place.  Modern humans weren’t the first visitors to this area, however.

The Valley of Fire is one of the former homes of the Anasazi and Paiute Native Americans and their artwork and homes can still be found today.  Along many of the trails are areas with rock art, pueblo foundations, and artifacts that indicate the former presence of these cultures. Several petroglyph sites are in the valley and it’s both thrilling and interesting to check out the artwork, maps, and stories from an anonymous artist who lived here thousands of years ago.  There are drawings of animals, plants, people, and a circular pattern which we understand to mean the location of water sources.  Some rock formations hide the ancient art behind or within them, but there are quite a few that are easily found.  When visiting the ancient artwork, though, park officials stress only to photograph it since touching it leaves oils from your skin, and transfer rubbing techniques erode the soft rock faces.  Artifacts are commonly found throughout the park as well, and those are also to be left in place.2013.can-am.maverick1000.yellow.front.riding.on-sand.JPG

Even though we only managed to explore a small portion of the Logandale Trail System during our ride, we loved it!  The system has high-speed whoop sections, impossibly tight, rock crawling sections, sandy dunes, plenty of wildlife and even some historical markers, and stunning scenery in every direction.  Best of all, there is no access charge!  It’s free to ride, park, and even camp here as long as you have a Nevada OHV (NVOHV) sticker!  All park managers (and your fellow riders) ask is that you respect the land, the wildlife, and the natural resources during your visit so it remains a fantastic place for outdoor recreation for generations to come.  

A New Favorite

Of all the places we’ve been riding in North America, there are a few that really stand out for the great trails and natural beauty.  Oregon’s Winchester Dunes, Utah’s Paiute Trail, Upper Michigan, and the Hatfield-McCoy system come to mind as places we hope to visit again soon.  We’ll now include Nevada’s Logandale Trail System on our list.  It’s a unique and beautiful place to explore.  We can’t wait to head back. 


From: Las Vegas, NV

1) Take I-15 North from Las Vegas approx. 45 miles

2) Take Exit 93 (Overton/Logandale exit) to Hwy 169

3) Turn right (west) on Liston Ave (look for Chinese restaurant on right)

4) Turn right at the stop sign

5) Stay to the right until dirt road crosses the tracks (to Pioneer Road)

6) Stay on this road as it winds up the canyon (2WD passable)

7) First staging area is appx. 1.5 miles in (trailhead) and has bathrooms, additional parking, and camping



BLM – Southern Nevada District Office

4701 North Torrey Pines Drive

Las Vegas, NV 89130

(702) 515-5000



Nevada OHV Sticker Info


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May 29, 2013

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