The Fire Wave is in an isolated area of Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada (near Las Vegas). It has a bowl-shaped depression with swirls of interchanging streaks of beige and red-orange colored sandstone. It is a must see whether you are visiting Las Vegas for business or pleasure!
The Fire Wave Trail begins at Park Lot #3 and is approximately 1.5 miles round trip with 175 feet of elevation change. Though it’s not far, take care to bring plenty of water and sunscreen since you’ll be fully exposed to the hot desert sun the whole trip.
From the parking lot, you cross the road and start the trail at the Fire Wave trail signed. The trail heads northeast down a sandy slope and runs toward a long, steep ridge of red sandstone.
As you approach a depression in front of the cliffs, the trail curves to the right. You continuing south along the side of the tall formation. The trail curves to the left before you reach a tall block of stone called Gibraltar Rock that leans out from the rest of the ridge.
From here you drop through some small boulders and reach a large slickrock formation that runs southeast. Here, lines are visible in the rock and become more pronounced as you near the Fire Wave.
After a half mile or so, the trail turns left and drops into a tiny ravine before you hike up a slope on the slickrock itself. Once over the crest you follow the markers that lead to the downhill to the Fire Wave in a carved out area at the southwest end of the rock formation.
Walking down to the wave you can explore and view it’s amazing stipes. On the west side in particular, the rock drops away and you can see the areas most pronounced stripes and see the shape that looks like a wave, giving the formation its namesake.