The White Domes Trail is one of our favorite trails in the Valley of Fire State Park.

Over the last couple of years we have spent months adventuring around the U.S. Southwest and only just stumbled upon the fascinating hikes in the Valley of Fire on our most recent visit.

While the Fire Wave Trail receives most of the attention from visitors visiting the park for the first time, the White Domes Trail had us equally mesmerized.

The trail is short, packed with beauty and uniqueness, and a great hike for the whole family. In this guide, I highlight what to expect hiking the White Domes Trail, including fees, where to camp, what to pack, and more.

How to Hike White Domes Trail in the Valley of Fire State Park

Red and orange rocks in the Valley of Fire

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White Domes Trail Stats

Distance: 1.1 miles

Level: Easy

Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 177 feet

Time: 30 minutes

Traffic: Moderate

Dogs: Yes

Orange rock formations along the White Domes Trail

You can also hike the White Domes Trail as a part of a larger loop. In retrospect, this is exactly what we would have done.

Create one large Valley of Fire adventure by opting to combine the popular Fire Wave Trail, White Domes Trail, and Seven Wonders Loop into one.

Fire Wave, White Domes, and Seven Wonders Loop Trail Stats

Distance: 3.2 miles

Level: Moderate

Type: Loop

Elevation Gain: 390 feet

Time: 2-2.5 hours

Traffic: Medium-Heavy

Dogs: Yes

Orange rock formations on the White Domes Trail

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Get to the Valley of Fire State Park?

The Valley of Fire State Park is conveniently located just over one hour from the Las Vegas International Airport. The park’s close proximity to the airport makes it the perfect day trip for adventurers looking to get out of the city and see what else Nevada has to offer.

The Valley of Fire is also a worthwhile detour for travelers completing the iconic Utah Mighty 5 road trip loop, or a great add-on to any Arizona-Utah road trip itinerary. If we were to repeat our southwest road trips, we would absolutely factor in a stop at the Valley of Fire.

From the Harry Reid International Airport, follow I-15 N to Valley of Fire Highway for approximately 40 miles. Take exit 75 and follow the Valley of Fire Highway all the way to the State Park entrance.

Is There a Fee to Enter the Park?

The Valley of Fire State Park has a $15/vehicle entrance fee for non-Nevada residents and a $10 fee for residents. This fee is paid upon entering the park.

Unfortunately, the America the Beautiful Pass does not cover the entrance fee into the park and will need to be paid separately.

How Do You Get to the White Domes Trailhead?

Mouses Tank Road in the Valley of Fire

To access the White Domes Trailhead, head towards the Visitor Center.

If you can spare the time, I recommend stopping in the Visitor Center. As someone who usually, *oops* skips the Visitor Center, I found the Valley of Fire one to be extremely interesting and educational.

From the center, continue down Mouse’s Tank Road. Driving Mouse’s Tank Road is a Valley of Fire highlight in itself and truthfully my favorite thing we did in the park. This is a hot take but some of the best views in the southwest can be found on this road.

White Domes Trail is located at the very end of the iconic drive.

Las Vegas to Valley of Fire Day Trip

I can’t believe how many times we’ve flown through Las Vegas with a day or two layover, and not taken advantage of the guided tour options to the Valley of Fire.

There are several tour options from Las Vegas to the Valley of Fire that handle all of the logistics.

You get to see the best of Valley of Fire without the hassle and planning. It’s a win-win.

What to Expect Hiking White Domes Trail

Right out of the parking lot, it’s easy to see what is so captivating about the White Domes Trail. Immediately, the trail is engulfed in towering pink, white, and red sandstone formations.

Though the trail is short, it’s constantly changing scenery and offers views of sandstone fins, rock formations, slot canyons, and vast wide open views.

Orange rock formations on the White Domes Trail

The trail starts by leading hikers downhill, causing the sandstone formations on each side to grow in size. We stopped several times to admire the vibrant patterns and colors on the rock walls.

After the initial drop in elevation the White Domes Trail levels out. While the trail is not technical, it does feature sandy passageways carved through the rocks and a small slot canyon.

These canyons provide an unexpected and adventurous aspect to the White Domes Trail as you make your way through the tight spaces and sculpted rock walls.

The White Domes Trail is well-marked and maintained, but there are several sandy sections and rocky terrain where things can get a little confusing if you’re not paying attention.

After you exit the narrow canyon, the scenery changes again as the trail leads hikers slightly uphill. At the top of the scramble, hikers are rewarded with 360-degree views of the White Domes Trail and the Valley of Fire Park at large.

Sweeping views of red and orange rock formations from the top of White Domes Trail

We spent some time here taking in the looming sandstone fins, vibrant colors, and sweeping views.

The best part? Compared to other stunning hikes we had done in the southwest the trail was practically empty.

Best Time to Hike

We hiked the White Domes Trail in May and were lucky enough to witness several cactus blooms and wildflowers as well as spot several different lizards.

We started our hike just after sunrise so while it was hot, it wasn’t unbearable. Keep in mind that temperatures in the Valley of Fire can reach well into the 100s.

If you are visiting anywhere between May-September and planning to hike the White Domes Trail, always be aware of the day’s temperature high, pack plenty of water, and dress appropriately for sun protection.

While the Valley of Fire isn’t as popular as neighboring Utah’s Mighty 5 National Parks, the park can still get busy. I recommend starting around sunrise not just to witness the colors and beat the heat, but also to beat the crowds.

Orange sandstone fins along the White Domes Trail

In my experience, the time of day can make or break a park’s first impression. Especially when exploring the desert.

As Seen on TV

Part of White Domes Trail has been featured in several movies, including scenes from “Star Trek: Generations” and “The Professionals.” You might recognize some of the landscapes seen along the trail from these films.

Hikers can actually still see “ruins” left behind by the production of “The Professionals.” The leftover structure is accompanied by a sign giving more details about the fake ruins.

Fire Wave, White Domes, and Seven Wonders Loop

During our visit to the Valley of Fire, we completed the Fire Wave Trail and Seven Wonders Loop as a separate hike from the White Domes Trail. However, as I mentioned earlier, the three trails can be combined into one.

Reg and pink rock formations in the Valley of Fire

Retrospectively, we would opt to hike Fire Wave Trail, White Domes Trail, and Seven Wonders as one large loop due to their close proximity.

Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Seasonal Closures

Keep in mind that if you are visiting the Valley of Fire State Park from June 1st-October 1st, the Fire Wave and Seven Wonders Loop are closed. Due to extreme summer temperatures in the valley, the trails are closed to proactively ensure the safety of both visitors and park staff.

Have no fear, the White Domes Trail remains open to hikers year-round, as do all of the other Valley of Fire hikes.

Trust me, even if the only time you can get to the Valley of Fire is during the seasonal closures or high summer temperatures, just driving through the park is worth it.

Camping Near the Valley of Fire State Park

Road winding through orange sandstone rock formations

There’s nothing better than camping in the desert, and there are several camping options in or near the Valley of Fire State Park.

Below are a few spots I recommend.

Atlatl Rock and Arch Rock Campgrounds

There are two campground options located inside Valley of Fire State Park: Atlatl Rock Campground and Arch Rock Campground.

Atlatl Rock Campground is the larger of the two campgrounds, offering more sites, electrical hook-ups for RVs, flush toilets, and showers. Additionally, Atlatl Rock Campground remains open year-round.

Arch Rock Campground is a much smaller campground that naturally offers fewer amenities. Unfortunately, Arch Rock Campground closes during the summer and winter. Make sure to check seasonal campground closures before arriving.

Both campgrounds are first-come, first-served and can accommodate both tents and RVs.


There is a $25 overnight camping fee per vehicle for non-Nevada residents and a $20 fee for residents. This overnight fee is in addition to the park entrance fee.

BLM Camping

Green tent pitched in the desert near the Valley of Fire

We found a great dispersed camping spot located just 2.5 miles from the Valley of Fire State Park entrance. The spot is free and offers no amenities. However, if you just need a quiet place to sleep for the night, look no further.

When heading down the Valley of Fire Highway towards the park entrance, look for a gravel road veering off to the left. Along this veer, you can spot unoccupied pull-offs to set up camp.

What to Pack for Hiking the White Domes Trail

The Valley of Fire State Park does not play around when it comes to high temperatures or dry, harsh conditions. Though the White Domes Trail is short, it’s extremely important that you show up prepared with a couple of essentials.

I’ve included a list of essentials to consider packing for your hike.


Lightweight Tops and Bottoms

Any hike in the desert warrants lightweight, moisture-wicking, and breathable clothing. The high temperature and dry climate can make even the shortest of hikes seem tiring.

For this hike, I opted to wear clothing from my favorite REI Swiftland line and the REI Trailmade line — comfortable, cute, and affordable.

Hiking Shoes

Similar to the other hikes in the Valley of Fire, there is nothing technical about the White Domes Trail but that does not mean that footwear isn’t important.

Hiking shoe preferences will vary from person to person, but I highly recommend the Merrell Antoras or Saucony Peregrines for lightweight support and traction.

I’ve tried several different trail runners and boots over the years but these two models have stood out among the rest.

Sun Protection

There is zero reprieve from the sun along the White Domes Trail. After all, the park is called the Valley of Fire.

Prepare for the blazing sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and/or long-sleeved shirts or pants to protect yourself.

Some of my tried and true sun protection items are the affordable Goodr Sunglasses and the lightweight REI Shade Hoody.


Hiking Day Pack

Regardless of the length of the trail, hiking with a day pack as opposed to carrying your water, phone, etc. by hand is always a good idea.

Although there are tons of options out there, two of my all-time favorite day packs are the REI Flash Pack 18L and Gregory Nano 16L.


Before beginning White Domes Trail, or any of the trails in the Valley of Fire, make sure you have more water than you need. The trail is short, yes, but the climate makes even the shortest of hikes feel more difficult.

A good rule of thumb when hiking in the desert is to pack 1 liter of water for every 2 miles. Hike responsibly by investing in a reusable water bottle. My top recommendations for lightweight, reliable, and reusable water bottles are Nalgene bottles or HydraPak stow bottles.

Offline Maps

Many of the trails in the Valley of Fire State Park are easy to follow, with the White Domes Trail being no exception. However, anytime you’re exploring the desert it never hurts to have an offline map handy.

To ensure your own safety as well as the safety of your hiking buddies, consider downloading an offline map to keep you on course. My favorite offline resource is AllTrails.

If you have any questions about hiking the White Domes Trail, the Fire Wave Trail, or any of the other epic trails in the Valley of Fire, leave me a comment in the section below.

If you’re visiting the Valley of Fire during a larger southwest road trip, make sure to check out my Ultimate Arizona-Utah Road Trip Itinerary guide for epic stops you can’t miss along the way.

Happy adventuring!

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